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Full text of "Handley Cross; or, Mr. Jorrock's hunt"

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THE LIBRARY OF THE 

UNIVERSITY OF 

NORTH CAROLINA 




ENDOWED BY THB 

DIALECTIC AND PHILANTHROPIC 

SOCIETIES 



PR5U99 
.Sk 
H3 
1892 






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HAKDLEY CROSS. 



Digitized by the Internet Archive 
in 2013 



http://archive.org/details/handleycrossormrOOsurt 



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HANDLEY CROSS; 



OR, 



MR. JORROCKS'S HUNT. 



BY 

THE AUTHOR OF "MR. SPONGE'S SPORTING TOUR, 
"ASK MAMMA," "PLAIN OR RINGLETS?" etc., etc. 




c 



W/77i ILLUSTRATIONS BY JOHN LEECH. 



PRINTED FOR SUBSCRIBERS 
from the plates of the Original Edition issued by 

BRADBURY, AGNEW & CO., 8, 9, 10, BOUVERIE ST., 

LONDON. 



THE RIGHT HONOURABLE LORD JOHN SCOTT, 



ONE OF THE BEST OF BRITISH SPORTSMEN, 



©l;ta Ualttine is Inamlieii, 



OBLIGED AND FAITHFUL SERVANT, 






THE AUTHOR. 



PREFACE. 

* 

Me. Jorrocks, having for many years maintained 
his popularity, it is hoped that, with the aid of the 
illustrations, he is now destined for longevity. 

The Author, in the present edition, not being tied 
to space or quantity, has had a better opportunity of 
developing his sporting hero than before. 

The reader will have the kindness to bear in mind, 
that the work merely professes to be a tale, and does 
not aspire to the dignity of a novel. 

London, October, 1854. 



CONTENTS. 



CHAP. PAGE 

I.— THE OLDEN TIMES ... .... 1 

II. — THE RIVAL DOCTORS AND M.C. . . . . . 12 

III. — THE RIVAL ORATORS 18 

IV. — THE HUNT BALL 26 

V. — THE HUNT COMMITTEE 38 

VI. — THE CLIMAX OF DISASTER 50 

VII. — MR. JORROCKS 56 

VIII. — CAPTAIN DOLEFUL's DIFFICULTIES 71 

IX. — THE CONQUERING HERO COMES 75 

X. — THE CONQUERING HERO'S PUBLIC ENTRY . . . . 79 

XI. — THE ORATIONS 86 

XII. — CAPTAIN DOLEFUL AGAIN. — A FAMILY DINNER . . . 90 

XIII. — MR. JORROCKS AND HIS SECRETARY 96 

XIV. — THE COCKNEY WHIPPER-IN 107 

XV. — SIR ARCHEY DEPECARDE — THE PLUCKWELLE PRESERVES . 120 

XVI. — A SPORTING LECTOR 127 

XVII. — HUNTSMAN WANTED. —JAMES PIGG 143 

XVIII. — A FRIGHTFUL COLLISION ! — BECKFORD V. BEN. — THE CUT-'EM- 

DOWN CAPTAINS. — THE CUT-'EM-DOWN CAPTAIN'S GROOM 154 

XIX. — BELINDA'S EEAU 165 

XX. — MR. JORROCKS AT EARTH 176 

XXI. — A QUIET BYE 181 

XXII. — ANOTHER BENIGHTED SPORTSMAN 199 

XXIII. — pigg's POEMS .211 

XXIV. — COOKING UP A HUNT DINNER 220 



riii CONTENTS. 

CHAP - PAGE 

XXV. — SERVING UP A HUNT DINNER 226 

XXVI. — THE FANCY BALL . 239 

XXVII. — ANOTHER SPORTING LECTOR 249 

XXVIII. — THE LECTOR RESUMED 267 

XXIX. — MR. JORROCKS'S JOURNAL 274 

XXX. — THE " CAT AND CUSTARD-POT " DAY 278 

XXXI. — JAMES PIGG AGAIN ! ! ! 287 

XXXII. — MR. JORROCKS'S JOURNAL 293 

XXXIII. — THE WORLD TURNED UPSIDE DOWN DAY . . . . 299 

XXXIV. — MR. MARMADUKE MULEYGRUBS 307 

XXXV. — THE TWO PROFESSORS 322 

XXXVI — ANOTHER CATASTROPHE. — THE GREAT MT. PRETTYFAT . 328 

XXXVII. — M.F.H. BUGGINSON 337 

XXXVIII. — PINCH-ME-NEAR FOREST . . .... 342 

XXXIX. — A FRIEND IN NEED, ETC. — THE SHORTEST DAY . . . 349 

XL. — JAMES PIGG AGAIN ! ! ! — MR. JORROCKS'S JOURNAL . . 354 

XLI. — THE CUT-'EM-DOWN CAPTAIN'S QUADS 360 

XLII. — POMPONIUS EGO . 366 

XLIII. — THE POMPONIUS EGO DAY 372 

xliv. — the pomponius ego day — continued .... 380 

XLV.— A BAD CHURNING ... 389 

XLVI. — THE PIGG TESTIMONIAL 395 

XLVII. — THE WANING SEASON 398 

XLVIII. — PRESENTATION OF THE PIGG TESTIMONIAL . . . 402 
XLIX. — SUPERINTENDENT CONSTABLE SHARK AND CHIZELER . .411 

L. — THE PROPHET GABRIEL 416 

LI. — ANOTHER LAST DAY 420 

LII. — ANOTHER SPORTING LECTOR 425 

LIII. — THE STUD SALE . . 437 

LIV. — THE PRIVATE DEAL 446 

LV. — WILLIAM THE CONQUEROR ; OR, THE A.D.C 454 

LVI. — MR. JORROCKS'S DRAFT 467 



CONTENTS ix 

CHAP. PAGE 

LVII. — DOLEFUL V. JORROCKS 473 

LVIII. — THE CAPTAIN'S WINDFALL 493 

LIX. — JORROCKS IN TROUBLE 496 

LX. — THE COMMISSION RESUMED 515 

LXI. — THE COURT RESUMES 520 

LXII. — BELINDA AT SUIT DOLEFUL . . . 530 

LXIII. — BELINDA AT BAY 533 

LXIV. — DOLEFUL PREPARED FOR THE SIEGE 537 

LXV. — MRS. JORROCKS FURIOUS . 543 

LXVI. — MR. BOWKER'S REFLECTIONS 552 

LXVII. — MR. JORROCKS TAKING HIS OTIUM CUM DIGGING A TATY . 556 

LXVIII. — DOLEFUL AT SUIT BEANTINGHAME 560 

LXIX. — THE GRAND FIELD DAY. — A SLOW CATCH . . . . 565 

LXX. — THE CAPTAIN CATCHES IT. — THE CAPTAIN IN DISTRESS . 570 

LXXI. — WHO-HOOP ! 575 




ENGEAVINGS ON WOOD. 



— PAGE 

" Trencher -fed ! " 1 

Obstruction ? 7 

" Curing Everything " . .12 

" A showy, washy useless beast " 27 

' The Morning After " 38 

Doleful begins to feel uneasy 43 

Belinda Jorrocks ■ . , _ , . .59 

Mr. Jorrocks ! 63 

" The Rat-tailed Brown " 79 

Captain Doleful arrives to dinner ....... 90 

Mr. Jorrocks thinks he will shoot Doleful 96 

Mr. Jorrocks calling Benjamin 105 

A Look at the Stables . 120 

Mr. Jorrocks in Clover . 123 

A Brandy-and-water-Committee 127 

" Candied Newcassel " . . , 149 

James Pigg . 154 

" Old Boy's made a mistake ;> 159 

Mr. Jorrocks pumping the Captain's Groom . . . .164 

'* A couple of Seidlitz " 176 

" A Chance of a Fox " 181 

Mr. Jorrocks at Ongar Castle 191 

" You're a Darling," exclaimed Charley 203 

Mr. Pomponius Ego narrates 209 



xii ENGRAVINGS ON WOO D. 

PAGE 

" Ar's Pigg " 211 

Sucking Pig ! " 226 

" A most convivial meeting " 237 

" Dressing up ! " c . . 239 

The Great Mogul 245 

Action ! 249 

" Ah ! it's Talli-ho Back ! " . . . . . . . .261 

A Stately Bird 278 

" Hoisting himself on like a crate of earthenware " . . . .233 

" Wellington " Pigg 287 

Reconciliation of Mr. Jorrocks and Pigg . . . . .291 

An Eventful Day 305 

" Dinner is sarved " 307 

Mr. Jorrocks gets a little " my-dearer " down his sleeve . . . 319 

The wine circulated languidly ... .... 328 

" A draught at the fluids " . . 333 

Mr. Bugginson's Bid 339 

Mr. Jorrocks 's Evolutions 342 

The Frying Pan 349 

Going to meet Bugginson 360 

' Mind his heels ! " 363 

Pigg holding the Fox above his head . 372 

" A stiff fence brings him up short ".....,. 383 

' Vanquisher races with Dexterous ' 388 

Making up the fences ......... 399 

Mr. James Pigg ........... 406 

Mr. Jorrocks and Pigg drink " Fox-hunting ' . . . . . 41? 

A Nightmare .... 420 

Sorting his hunting clothes ........ 425 

Testimonial to John Jorrocks, Esq. . . . . ... 436 

Inspecting the lots 437 



ENGRAVINGS ON WOOD xiii 

PAGE 

Homeward Bound 454 

Flagrante Delicto 467 

The High Sheriff 473 

Mr. Martin Moonface .......... 496 

Mr. Jorrocks winking at the Nursery Governess .... 509 

A Present to Dr. Mello 513 

Mrs. Jorrocks advising Belinda e ...... . 535 

" All prices., sir ! all prices ' " . . . . . . . 539 

" I'll knock your head off " 543 

The taking of Captain Doleful ........ 567 

Captain Doleful's Mother-in-law 569 

" Who-hoop ! " 570 



ENGRAVINGS ON WOOD. 

FULL PAGE. 



PAGE 

Roger Swizzle . To face 14 

Dr. Sebastian Mello 14 

Waiting for the Fly „ 32 

Captain Doleful, " Places for a Country Dance " . . . „ 34 

The Master of the Ceremonies mounted „ 46 

The Committee of Management , 52 

John Jorrocks of Great Coram Street ,, 56 

Captain Doleful and Mrs. Barnington „ 72 

Captain Doleful, M.C. . „ 76 

" 'Ow are ye all ? " , 86 

" Send my Sec. here " „ 98 

The Hounds and the Image Merchant ,,100 

Benjamin in the Saddle-room . . . . . . . „ 108 

A Horse with only One Fault ,,132 

" But I doesn't vont a cow " . „ 138 

Mr. Jorrocks and his Whipper-in . ,, 156 

A Welcome Arrival ,, 166 

" The Biggest Fox whatever was seen " „, 184 

Mr. Jorrocks in a difficulty ; ,194 

" A Bye on the Sly " 218 

Top Sawyers „ 262 

" Hold Hard ? Easier said than done " . . . . . „ 270 



ENGRAVINGS ON WOOD 



Pigg flew a Double Flight of Oak Rails .... 
The Juvenile Muleygrubs ....... 

Mr. Jorrocks has another Bye -day 

"Hurt! No, Sir — rather the Contrary ! '" . 

The Old Customer 

The Stud Sale 

Poor Xerxes 

James Pigg in the Witness-box . . 

Benjamin and his Friend exercising Mr. Jorrocks's Hunters 



TAQB 

To face 298 
322 
346 
378 
424 
440 
448 
526 
576 



ENGRAVINGS GN STEEL. 



PAGE 

MICHAEL HARDEY . . . . . . . . . To face 10 

mr. jorrocks starting for " the cut-me-down countries " , 56 

mr. jorrocks enters into handley cross . . . . ,, 80 

mr. jorrocks (loq.) — " come up ! i say. you ugly beast " „ 106 

mr. jorrocks's lecture on " 'unting " , 130 

mr. jorrocks has a bye-day „ . „ 188 

mr. jorrocks's bath „ 198 

the handley cross fancy ball „ 246 

the kill, on the cat and custard -pot day . . „ 284 

the meet at mr. muleygrubs „ 334 

"mind the bull". . .' , 352 

the pomponius ego day ,, 374 

mr. jorrocks wants twenty ,. 422 

sir thomas trout and the bloomer „ 456 

mr. barege and the draft ,, 470 

pigg in the melon frame „ 506 

mr. jorrocks's return to his family „ 560 



HANDLEY CROSS; 



OR, 



MR. JORROCKS'S HUNT. 



CHAPTER I. 

THE OLDEN TIMES. 

" I respect hunting in whatever shape it appears ; it is a manly and a wholesome exercise, 
and seems by nature designed to he the amusement of the Briton."— Beckford. 

HEN Michael Hardey 
died, great was the 
difficulty in the Yale 
of Sheep w ash to devise 
how the farmers' hunt 
was to be carried on. 
Michael, a venerable 
sportsman of the old 
school, had long been 
at the head of affairs, 
and without paying all 
expenses, had enjoyed 
an uninterrupted sway 
over the pack and 
country. 

The hounds at first 
were of that primitive 
sort, upon which 
modern sportsmen look 
down with contempt. 
Few in number, un- 
even in size, and ill- 
matched in speed, 
they were trencher- 
all the year round, and upon any particular morning that 
fixed on for a hunt, each man might be seen wending his 

* Unkenneled, or kept at farm-houses and cottages. 




TREN'..iiE;:-i-;;i> 



fed* 
was 



2 HAND LEY CROSS; 

way to the meet followed by his dog, or bringing him along in u 
string. 

" There was Invincible Tom, and Invincible Toiler. 
Invincible Jack, and Invincible Jowler." 

Day would hardly have dawned ere the long-poled sportsmen 
assembled with their hounds. Then they would trail up to puss. 
Tipler would give the first intimation of her erratic wanderings o'er 
the dewy mead. Then it was, " Well done Tipler ! Ah, what a dog 
he is ! " Then Mountain would throw his tongue, and flinging a 
pace or two in advance, would assume the lead. ""Well done, 
Mountain I Mountain for ever" — would be the cry. Tapster next 
would give a long-drawn howl, as if in confirmation of his comrades' 
doings in front, and receive in turn the plaudits of his master. 
Thus they would unravel the gordian knot of puss's wanderings. 

Meanwhile other foot-people try the turnips, cross the stubbles, 
and beat the hedges, in search of her — 

Yon tuft upon the rising ground seems likely for her form. Aye, 
Tipier points towards it. Giles Jolter's hand is raised to signal 
Invincible Towler, but half the pack rush towards him, and Jolter 
kicks puss out of her form to save her from their jaws. " Hoop / 
Hoop/ Hoop! There she goes!" "What a panic ensues! Puss 
lays her long ears upon her back, and starts for the hill with the 
fleetness of the wind. The pack, with more noise than speed, strain 
every nerve, and the further they go the further they are left behind. 
Their chance seems out altogether. The hare crosses over the 
summit of the hill, and the hounds are reduced to their noises for the 
line. "Now, Mountain! Now, Tipler! Now, Bonnets-o'-Blue. 
Ah, what dogs they are ! " 

* * * * * * 

Puff, puff, puff, go the sportsmen, running and rolling after their 
darlings, with little leisure for shouting. Then, having gained the 
summit of the hill, the panting pedestrians would stand lost in 
admiration at the doings of their favourites down below, while the 
more active follow in their wake, trusting to a check to let them in. 
"When a check ensued, how bipeds and quadrupeds worked ! "While 
the latter were sniffling about, going over the same ground half a 
dozen times, the former would call their hounds to them, and either 
by pricking or lifting over difficult ground contrive to give them a 
lead. The hunt is up again, and away they all go. The hounds 
strain over the grass, dash through the furze, making the spinney 
resound with their cry, and enter upon the fallow beyond. Mountain 
alone speaks to the scent, and hills re-echo his voice. — Now he's 
silent. — She's squatted. 

The prickers are at work again, trying each furrow, and taking the 
rigs across. How close she lies ! 



oB, MB. JOBtiOCKS'S HUNT. 3 

41 Hoop ! " She jumps up in the middle of the pack, and Mountain 
gets a mouthful of fur. That was a close shave ! — too close to be 
pleasant The hill people view her, and now every move of puss an</ 
the pack is eagerly watched. " That's right ! that's right ! over the 
Btubble. Tipler's just going her very line. Ah, he's taken up the 
hedge instead of down, and Mountain has it. Now, Mountain, my 
man ! " 

She runs round the sheep, but Mountain hits her off beyond. 
Now she doubles and springs back, but they work through the 
problem, and again puss has nothing to trust to but her speed. Her 
strength begins to fail. She makes a grand effort, and again leaves 
her pursuers in the lurch. Slow and sure they ring her funeral knell 
after her, each note striking terror into her breast as she pricks her 
long ears and sits listening. 

She nears her own haunt but dare not enter. The hill people 
descend to join the tussle at the end. Poor puss ! her large bright 
eyes are ready to start out of her head. Her clean brown fur is 
clotted and begrimed, and her strength is all but exhausted. Another 
view! 

" Poor is the triumph o\ r the timid hare.' 1 

Now what a noise of men and hounds as they view her again. It 
is a last chance. She passes into the next grass field, and a friendly 
hedge conceals her from their view. She steals up the furrow, and 
reaches the wall at the high end. It is high and loose, and a few 
stones are out in the middle. Puss jumps in.* 

Up come the hounds. Mountain and Tipler, and Gamester, and 
Bonnets-o'-blue, Merryman, and Ferryman, and then a long tail, 
yelping, yapping, puffing, and blowing. 

Over they go into the lane. Now up, now down, now backwards, 
now forwards, now round about, but no puss. 

Up come the field. " Now, Mountain, my man, hit her off ! " 
cries his master, vaulting over the wall, and stooping to prick the 
hare on the road. But no prints are there. 

" She must have flown ! " observes one. 

" Or sunk into the ground," says another. 

" Or yon tinker man's knocked her on the head," observes a third, 
pointing to a gipsy camp at the cross roads, and away they all go to 
demand the body of puss. 

*#**♦* 

The tinker man shows fight on having his cauldron searched, and 
several stout wenches emerging from the tattered cart awning, y 

* The manoeuvres of a hunted hare are truly astonishing. — The author wit- 
nessed the above. 



4 HANDLEY CROSS; 

battle royal ensues, and further attention is completely diverted from 
puss. 

Well done, puss ! 

To proceed — 

The next step in the Handley Cross Hunt, was getting a boy to 
collect the hounds before hunting.* 

They lay wide, and sometimes Mountain's master couldn't come, 
consequently, Mountain was not there ; sometimes Tipler's master 
was absent, and the pack lost the services of Tipler's unerring nose. 

Next, some of the farmers began to ride. At first they came out 
with young horses, just to let them see hounds — then as the horses 
got older they thought they might as well work them till they sold 
them, and at last it ended in their riding as a matter of course. 
Foremost among the riders was Michael Hardey. He had always 
been a great promoter of the hunt, breeding his hounds as he did his 
horses, for speed and substance. Some used to say they were mother 
too swift for a hare. Others, however, followed his example, and in 
course of time the heavy towling harriers were converted into quick 
and dashing hounds. 

Time rolled on, and Michael at length became looked upon as the 
master or manager of the pack. Having been always more addicted 
to fox than to hare, he had infused a spirit into the country which 
ended in making the wily animal their quarry. 

The hounds were still kept at walks during the summer, but 
Michael fitted up a kennel at his farm to which they were brought 
towards the autumn. Peter, the pedestrian huntsman, was taken 
into Michael's service, clothed and mounted. 

Of course all this was done by subscription. Some gave Michael 
cash, some gave him corn, some hay, others straw, and all the old 
horses in the country found their way to his farm. 

They were then called fox-hounds. 

The first day of the first season, after their metamorphosis, the 
hounds met at Handley Cross — the Godfather of our work. It was 
a pretty village, standing on a gentle eminence, about the middle of 
the Vale of Sheepwash, a rich grazing district, full of rural beauties 
and renowned for the honest independence of its inhabitants 
Neither factory nor foundry disturbed its morals or its quietude- 
steam and railroads were equally unknown. The clear curl of white 
smoke, that rose from its cottage chimneys, denoted the consumption 
of forest wood, with which the outskirts of the vale abounded. It 
was a nice clean country. The hazel grew with an eel-like skin, and 
i,he spiry larch shot up in a cane-coloured shoot. Wild roses filled 
the hedges, and fragrant woodbine clambered everywhere. Handley 
Cross was a picturesque spot : it commanded an almost uninterrupted 

* It is only (hose who have witnessed it that can credit the sagacity evinced 
by trencher-fed hounds in knowing the hunting mornings, placing themselves 
ready for the summons or rushing with joyous cry to meet the messenger. 



OR, MR. JQRROCKWS HUNT. 6 

view over the whole vale. Far, to the north, the lofty Gayhurst hills 
formed a soft and sublime outline, while the rich vale stretched, out, 
dotted with village spires, and brightened with winding silvery 
streams, closed in on either side with dark streaks of woodland tracts. 
To the south, it stretched away to the sea. Handley Cross was a 
simple, unpretending village ; the white-washed, thatched roofed 
cottages formed a straggling square, round a village green, in the 
centre of which, encircled with time-honoured firs, on a flight of rude 
stone steps, stood the village cross, the scene of country hirings. 
Basket-making was the trade of the inhabitants ; a healthy and 
prosperous one, if the looks of its followers, and the vine- clad and 
rose-covered fronts of the cottages might be taken as an index. It 
had but one public-house — the sign of the Fox and Grapes, and that 
was little frequented — had it been otherwise, there would most likely 
have been two. 

Thither our master brought his hounds the first day of the season 
in which they professedly began to hunt foxes. It was a day of 
interest in the vale, and people gathered from afar. The morning 
was beautifully fine, with a slight tinge of frost on the ground, that 
half-an-hour's sunshine would dissolve. A little before eight, the 
foot-people on the steps of the Cross descried Michael crossing the 
vale by a line of hand-gates from his house — the hounds clustered 
round his horse, and Peter bringing up the rear. On they come at 
an easy, steady pace, and then the tall hedges below concealed them 
from their view ; presently they rose the hill, and entered the village- 
green. " The hounds ! the hounds ! " cried the children, and away 
they rushed from the Cross to meet them. 

Some of the hounds threw their tongues with delight, as they 
jumped and fawned on the hands that had fed them ; Climbank met 
his master, and rushed to him with joy, while the honest fellow felt 
in his pocket for the accustomed crust. " Come-by-Chance " re- 
cognised his mistress, and nearly threw her down with the vehemence 
of his salute. All was cheerful and bright — Machael's black horse 
pawed the ground, and whinnied with delight, as the hounds bayed 
him, or leapt against his sides. His master had paid a little extra 
attention to his toilette that morning ; his well-brushed, broad- 
brimmed hat, pressed gently on his close-lying nut-brown curls, his 
whiskers were newly trimmed, and he had evidently had a keen-edged 
razor to shave with ; health was on his brow, and a good-natured 
smile hovered o'er his swarthy face, displaying the brightness of his 
eyes and the whiteness and regularity of his teeth. Michael was then 
about forty ; but for the fulness of his limbs one might have taken 
something off. The elements had rather hardened than sharpened 
the features of his face. He stood six feet high, with an amazing 
expanse of chest, and well-proportioned limbs. His hunting costume 
consisted of a good nut-brown coat, almost matching his complexion, 
a scrupulously clean white neck-cloth, with a large flat-pocketed red 



6 HANDLE Y CB0S8 ; 

waistcoat, patent cord breeches, and mahogany- coloured top-boots, 
His undress, or home costume, was the same, with drab gaiters 
instead of boots ; and his full, or evening costume, ditto, without the 
gaiters. A twisted hunting horn was slung across his shoulder, and 
he rode with a spare stirrup-leather round his horse's neck This 
coal-black steed was an animal of amazing speed and power — nearly 
thorough-bred, with a light, well-set on head, clean flat legs, immense 
loins and hocks ; he stood nearly sixteen hands, though the shortness 
of his tail made him look somewhat bigger ; he was rising seven 
years old, and that was his first regular season. Peter was dressed 
like his master — coat, waistcoat, and breeches of the same web, and 
rode a wiry-looking bay mare, with white hind-legs. He was then 
about thirty, short, light, and active, barely turning nine stone — 
Michael weighed fourteen. 

Horsemen now began to arrive through the various openings among 
the cottages on the green. First came James Fairlamb, with his 
merry round face shining with the morning sun — he rode a crop- 
eared cob with a Roman nose ; his dress consisted of a single-breasted 
plum-coloured coat, with large silver buttons, black boots, and white 
lambswool stockings drawn over his knees. Stephen Dumplin, the 
doctor, appeared at the door of the only four-windowed house on the 
green, followed by his maid with a foaming tankard. The contents 
being disposed of, he mounted his dun pony, and joined the group. 
He was dressed in orthodox black, with powder, and a pigtail, drab 
shorts, and top-boots. The plot thickened — they came by twos and 
threes. Peter Jewitt and Harry Jones ; two Smiths and a Brown, 
then another Jewitt, then another Jones ; Morgan Hains, and John 
Thomas; next a horse-breaker; after him, Mr. Giles, the brewer, 
followed by the Exciseman, on a mule ; then Mr. Smith, the overseer, 
and Miss Fidget's young man with the letter-bag, a molecatcher, and 
a gamekeeper. 

All his comrades having come, Michael looked at his large silver 
hunting-watch, and seeing it was half-past eight, prepared for throw- 
ing off. The couples were taken off the young hounds, master and 
man cocked forward their legs and tightened their girths, and then 
turned their horses' heads for the south, amid a chorus of delight 
from the hounds and the ill-suppressed cheers of the held. 

A hazel copse or two were tried just for the sake of the chance, and 
on they trotted to a warm lying cover of gorse, or brushwood, formed 
by the junction of two hills. Jolly-boy, Boniface, and Dexterous, 
feathered as they approached the spot, and the former dashing in 
with a whimper and a long-drawn howl, Michael took off his broad- 
brimmed, low-crowned hat, and waving in the pack, cheered them to 
the echo. His horse pricked his ears, and whinnied with delight, and 
tould scarcely be brought to stand with his head towards the cover 
as Michael stood erect in his stirrups, with one hand on the cantrel 
of his saddle, and the other holding his whip and reins, while his 



OR, MB. JOBBOCKS'S HUNT. 7 

eagle-eye roved over every part of the dell. " Have at him there, my 
jewel/" cried he to old Bonny-bell — a favourite white bitch that 
lived with him, and could scarcely ever be persuaded to quit his 
horse's heels,— as she stood whining, lifting a foot, and looking 




^■A— 



OBSTRUCTION ! 



him earnestly in the face ; — " Have at him there, my old lass ! " re- 
echoed he, looking down upon her, and waving his right hand, to induce 
her to join cry. The old bitch dashed in, and the chorus increased. 
The gorse was close, or the hounds must have chopped the fox, for 
he had made two efforts to break up hill so as to fly for the woodland 
country, and had twice been driven from his point by Michael's voice 



a HANDLEY CROSS; 

and the crack of his whip. A momentary silence ensued, as the? 
over-ran the scent, and Michael had just cried, "Look out, Peter ! 
to his whipper-in, who was stationed on the opposite hill, when the 
fox dashed over a piece of stone wall between two large ash trees in 
the high hedge at the bottom of the cover, and with a whisk of his 
brush, set his head straight down the vale, crossing over a large 
grazing ground of at least a hundred acres. " Silence ! " cried 
Michael, holding up his hand to the foot-people, who were congregated 
on the hill, as he turned his horse short, and galloped to the point at 
which the fox broke away, where with a twang of his bugle, he pre- 
sently had the old hounds at his heels, and hat in hand he waved 
them over the wall. Jolly-boy feathered for a second on the grass, 
and then with a long-protracted howl, as if to draw his brethren to 
the spot, he went away with his head in the air, followed by Dexterous, 
Countryman, Bonny-bell, and True-boy, and after them went the body 
of the pack. 

" Gone away ! " cried Michael, " gone away ! tally-ho ! tally-ho ! 
tally-ho." 

" Get away, hounds ! get away !" halloaed Peter, cracking his whip 
as he trotted down the steep hill ; and putting his bay mare straight 
at the fence at the bottom, went crash through it, with a noise that 
resembled the outbursting of a fire in a straw-yard. Then came the 
rush : the black threw the stone wall behind him, as a girl would her 
skipping-rope ; and James Fairlamb's cob came floundering after, 
bringing down the coping stones, with a rattle and clatter that would 
have been awful if hounds had not been running. The third man 
was the Doctor on the dun, who made it still lower ; and after him 
came Peter Jewitt and John Jones (the latter leading over), and 
impeding the progress of John Thomas, the other Jewitt, the other 
Jones, Morgan Hains, the overseer, and the parish-clerk of Welford, 
who all kept holloaing and swearing away — as obstructed gentlemen 
in a hurry generally do. The foot-people, seeing how hopeless was 
the case, stood upon the hills, lost in mute astonishment, eyeing 
Michael on his black, careering over the meadows and hedges in a 
straight line with the pack, followed by Peter on his bay, and Fair- 
lamb on his cob, until the plum-coloured coat of the latter assumed 
the hue of the others, and hounds, horses, and men grew 

" Small by degrees and beautifully less." 

" Gently ! " cried Michael, as the black horse bounded over the 
fifteenth fence, with all the dash and vigour with which he had 
cleared the wall, and the hounds threw up upon a fallow, the first 
check they had come to. " Yon way ! " cried a countryman on a 
bean-stack, who had headed the fox, extending his arm like a 
telegraph ; " to the left, pass the hurdles." " Let them alone!" cried 
Michael, " let them alone ! Jolly-boy has it down the furrow ; hoic to 
Jolly-boy ! hoic ! " and a wave of his hat brought the pack forward, 



0U, ME. JOBJROCKS'S HUNT. tt 

and away they go full cry, making the welkin ring with the music of 
their deep-toned notes. 

" A cry more tuneable 

Was never holloa'd to, nor cheer'd by horn ! " 

Forward they press ; and Conqueror usurps the place of Jolly-boy. 
Poor dog, nature must not be denied, and age has slackened the 
vigour of his limbs ! But they come to slow hunting, and the old 
hound's unerring nose keeps the pack upon the line. The ground is 
stained with sheep, which scampering in a half circle as the fox went 
past, complete the ring, now that they hear the hounds. Michael 
pulls up, Peter is at his side, Fairlamb is in the next field — crack 
goes a rail, and the Roman-nosed cob is over, and the doctor's dun 
comes up just as Michael puts his finger in his ear, and screeches the 
pack forward to old Bonny-bell, who speaks to the villain under the 
gate. It is a rotton old thing upon one hinge, formed of at least 
twenty spars and rails, all rattling and jingling out of concert, and is 
fastened with hazel-bands and pieces of knotted rope. Michael's 
ponderous iron-headed whip breaks through them at a blow, and, 
thrusting the remains back with his right leg, he passes through and 
enters the open common beyond the vale. They are now upon the 
downs ! all is brightness and space ; Handley Cross appears like a 
speck in the distance, rendered visible only by the dark firs on the 
Green, and the vale looks like a web of green cloth stretched out 
behind. 

They approached rising ground, and the pack no longer press 
forward in eager jealousy, but each hound seems settled in his place ; 
in truth, the pace has told upon uneven condition, and four hounds 
alone carry the scent. The ground becomes steeper and steeper, and 
even the fox has traversed the "mountain's brow" at an angle. Now 
Climbank's outline stands against the blue sky, and the pack wind 
after him in long-drawn file. Michael jumps off his horse as he 
approaches the steep ascent, and runs up, leading ; Peter follows his 
example, but Fairlamb sticks to the cob, and the Doctor begins 
kicking and digging the dun with his spurs. 

The heights of Ashley Downs are gained, and the scene changes. 
The horizon is bounded by the sea, upon whose briny bosom float 
some pigmy vessels, and the white breakers of the shore are just 
visible to the eye. It may be five miles off, and the space between is 
undulating and open, save towards a tract of woodland that appears 
to join the coast. The Doctor reaches the summit of Ashley Downs, 
and pulls up fairly exhausted. He takes off his hat and mops the 
perspiration from his brow, as he sits viewing hounds, horses, and 
men, swinging away down the hill like a bundle of clock pendulums 
into the vale below. Not a house to be seen ! no, not even a cottage, 
and as the hounds turn to the right, and run the depths of a rocky 



10 HANDLET CK0S8; 

dell, whose projecting cliffs support venerable yews and red-berried 
hollies, their music rends the air, 

" As if a double hunt were heard at once." 

" It's twenty years since I was here," said Michael to himself, 
wiping the perspiration from his forehead, " and the fox beat me, I 
recollect. If we can but press him out, we must kill. That's the 
very crag ! " added he, " just below the crooked oak. He has tried 
it, but, thank goodness, Jolly-boy carries the scent beyond ! Yooi on t 
hounds ! yooi on ! " holloas Michael from above, with a crack of his 
whip to some tail-hounds that kept snuffling at his sides ; " Forrard, 
away, forrard 1 " 

The dell opens into a broader expanse of better soil, and the whole 
pack pour forth into the vale beyond with a chorus and a melody 
" of musical discord and sweet thunder," that makes even Fairlamb's 
cob, though somewhat distressed, snort and prick up his ears with 
pleasure. Forward they go, with every hound upon the scent and 
speaking to it, 

" What lengths they pass 1 where will the wandering chase 
Lead them bewilder'd ? " 

" He's close afoor you ! " cries a shepherd from a straw-thatched 
iut, whose dog having chased the fox had caused a check, and 
Michael cast forward at a trot. A flock of sheep wheeling round a 
field directed him to the line, and old Bonny-bell hits him off at the 
hedge-row. All the hounds then stoop to the scent and dash forward 
into the large wood beyond with mischief and venom in their cry. 
The wood is open at the bottom and they get through it like wild- 
fire. Michael is with them, Peter outside, with Fairlamb behind. 
The wood becomes studded with evergreens and gradually opens 
upon a lake with a bridge of costly structure at the end ; Michael 
views the fox dead beat, with his tongue out, and brush dragging 
along the ground just turning the corner to cross the bridge ; and 
dashing forward, hat in hand, in another minute ran into him on the 
mossy lawn by the terrace of Ongar Castle, just as the Earl of 
Bramber and family were sitting down to breakfast. 

Who shall describe Michael's ecstacy, as he picked up the fox and 
held him high above the baying pack. There he stood on the well-kept 
lawn, with his fox grinning in grim death in one hand and his low- 
crowned hut in the other, whooping and holloaing old Bonny-bell 
and the pack up to him, while the colt in a smoking white lather, 
kept moving about, stamping and pawing up the mossy bank as he 
went. Then Michael pulled his bugle round and sounded a blast 
that brought Peter and Fairlamb along at the best pace they could 
muster, just as the Earl of Bramber threw up the breakfast-room 
vindow, and the towers of the castle flashed upon Michael's view. 



On, MR. JORROCKS'S HUNT. 11 

Ail, however, was right, for his lordship having been a sportsman 
himself, entered into his feelings, and, stepping out upon the lawn, 
banished the idea of intrusion by congratulating Michael on his 
sport. The ladies, too, followed his example, and even forgave the 
trampling of the horse on their mossy carpet. The horses and 
hounds were then withdrawn from the terrace to a corner of the park 
close by, where the fox's brush, mask, and pads, being cut off, Peter 
climbing up a neighbouring oak, extended himself along a strong arm 
across which he balanced the fox, whooping and holloaing to the 
hounds, while Michael and Fairlamb did the same below, and the 
hounds being tantalised by expectation, and baying in full chorus, 
down went the fox crash into their mouths. " Tear him and eat 
him I " was the cry, and he was riven to pieces in an instant. 

Years rolled on with varying sport, but with Michael at the head 
of the hunt. Time slackened his pace and the pace of his field ; but 
as they all grew fat, and old, and grey together, no one noticed the 
change in his neighbour. The hounds got a name, and while in their 
zenith none could twist up a fox sooner or in better style. With 
plenty of music and mettle, they seldom over-ran the scent, were 
never pressed upon or over-ridden. They turned like harriers. 
Kennel lameness was unknown. 

As a huntsman Michael was superexcellent. He knew when to 
lay hold of his hounds, and when to let them alone. His voice was 
shrill, clear and musical, his eye quick and bright, and he saw things 
that others never noticed. It is told of him that one day having 
pressed his fox very hard, and lost him most unaccountably in a wood 
of some ten acres, as he was telling his hounds over preparatory to 
going home, he all at once rode back to the top of a hill that com- 
manded a view of the other side of the cover and tally-ho'd away / 
The fox being blown, was soon after killed, and when Michael came 
to account for his movements, he said, that knowing the hounds were 
all out, he heard a blackbird frightened in cover, and supposed it 
might be by the fox moving, after they were gone. Hundreds of 
similar stories were told of him. 

In his large woodlands with which the outskirts of the vale 
abounded, many a fox owed his death to the way Michael threw in 
his tail-hounds at head. He knew his country and the runs of his 
foxes, and where he gained an advantage one season he did not for- 
get to repeat in the next. His dog language was peculiar, partak- 
ing more of the nature of dialogue than the short monosyllabic 
cheering and rating of the present day. His hounds were strongly 
attached to him ; and if by any chance he did not accompany them 
to cover, they would rush full cry from Peter and his boy to meet 
him on the road. 

Peter was a capital coadjutor, and master and man played into 
each other's hands with keenness untinctured with jealousy. The 
whipper-in's nerve continued after his master's began to fail, and he 



12 



HAND LEY CROSS 



might often be seen boring through a bullfinch to clear the way for 
old Michael, or stopping at a brook to give him a help over. 

Peace to Michael's manes ! He died at the good old age of eighty 
without a groan or struggle. The lamp of life gradually flickered 
out, and his spirit passed away almost imperceptibly. 

" His memory is cherished yet ; and many people say, 
With this good old Englishman good old times are gone for aye." 



CHAPTER II. 



THE KIVAL DOCTORS AKD M.C. 



ELL, as we said before, when 
Michael Hardey died, great was 
the difficulty in the Yale of 
Sheepwash to devise how the 
farmers' hunt was to be carried 
on. 

The difficulty was increased by 
the change that had come over 
the country itself. After up- 
wards of thirty years' occu- 
pancy of it, Michael witnessed 
one of those magical revo- 
lutions that appear to belong 
rather to fiction than reality. 

One Roger Swizzle, a royster- 
ing, red-faced, round-about 
apothecary, who had somewhat 
impaired his constitution by his 
jolly performances while walk- 
ing the hospitals in London, 
had settled at Appledove, a 
small market town in the vale, 
" curing everything." where he enjoyed a considerable 

want of practice in common 
with two or three other fortunate brethren. Hearing of a mineral 
spring at Handley Cross, which, according to usual country tradi- 
tion, was capable of "curing everything/' he tried it on himself, 
and either the water or the exercise in walking to and fro had a 
very beneficial effect on his somewhat deranged digestive powers. 
He analysed its contents, and finding the ingredients he expected, 
he set himself to work to turn it to his own advantage. Having 
secured a lease of the spring, he took the late Stephen Dampling's 
house on the green, where at one or other of its four front windows 




OR, MR, JORROCKS'S HUNT. 13 

a numerous tribe of little Swizzles might be seen flattening their 
noses against the panes. Roger possessed every requisite for a great 
experimental (qy. quack) practitioner, — assurance, a wife and large 
family, and scarcely anything to keep them on. 

Being a shrewd sort of fellow, he knew there was nothing like strik- 
ing out a new light for attracting notice, and the more that light was 
in accordance with the wishes of the world, the more likely was it to 
turn to his own advantage. Half the complaints of the upper classes 
he knew arose from over-eating and indolence, so he thought if he 
could originate a doctrine that with the use of Handley Cross waters 
people might eat and drink what they pleased, his fortune would be 
as good as made. To this end, therefore, he set himself manfully to 
work. Aided by the local press, he succeeded in drawing a certain 
attention to the water, the benefit of which soon began to be felt by 
the villagers of the place ; and the landlord of the Fox and Grapes 
had his stable constantly filled with gigs and horses of the visitors. 
Presently lodgings were sought after, and carpeting began to cover 
the before sanded staircases of the cottages. These were soon found 
insufficient ! and an enterprising bricklayer got up a building society 
for the erection of a row of four-roomed cottages, called the Grand 
Esplanade. Others quickly followed, the last undertaking always 
eclipsing its predecessor, until that, which at first was regarded w T ith 
astonishment, was sunk into insignificance by its more pretending 
brethren. 

The Doctor's practice "grew with the growth " of Plandley Cross. 

His rosy face glowed with health and good living, and his little 
black eyes twinkled with delight as he prescribed for each patient, 
3ending them away as happy as princes. 

" Ah, I see how it is," he would say, as a gouty alderman slowly 
disclosed the symptoms of his case. " Shut up your potato trap ! I 
see how it is. Soon set you on your legs again. Was far worse 
myself. All stomach, sir — all stomach, sir — all stomach — three- 
fourths of our complaints arise from stomach ; " stroking his cor- 
pulent protuberancy with one hand, and twisting his patient's button 
with the other. " Clean you well out and then strengthen the 
system. Dine with me at five and we will talk it all over." 

With languid hypochondriacs he w T as subtle, firm, and eminently 
successful. A lady who took it into her head that she couldn't walk, 
Roger had carefully carried out of her carriage into a room at the 
top of his house, when raising a cry of " Fire ! " she came spinning 
down stairs in a way that astonished herself. He took another n 
mile or two out of town in a fly, when, suddenly pulling up, he told 
her to get out and walk home, which she at length did, to the great 
joy of her husband and friends. With the great and dignified, and 
those who were really ill, he w T as more ceremonious. " You see, Sir 
Harry," he would say, " it J s all done by eating ! More people dig 
their graves with their teeth than we imagine. Not that I would deny 



14 HANDLEY CBOSS; 

you the good things of this world, but I would recommend a few a\ 
a time, and no mixing. No side dishes. No liqueurs — only two or 
three wines. Whatever your stomach fancies give it! Begin now, 
to-morrow, with the waters. A pint before breakfast — half an hour 
after, tea, fried ham and eggs, brown bread, and a walk. Luncheon 
— another pint — a roast pigeon and fried potatoes, then a ride. 
Dinner at six, not later mind ; gravy soup, glass of sherry, nice fresh 
turbot and lobster sauce — wouldn't recommend salmon — another 
glass of sherry — then a good cut out of the middle of a well-browned 
saddle of mutton, wash it over with a few glasses of iced champagne ; 
and if you like a little light pastry to wind up with, well and good. 
— A pint of old port and a devilled biscuit can hurt no man. Mind, 
no salads, or cucumbers, or celery, at dinner, or fruit after. Turtle 
soup is very wholesome, so is venison. Don't let the punch be too 
acid though. Drink the waters, live on a regimen, and you'll be well 
in no time." 

With these and such like comfortable assurances, he pocketed his 
guineas, and bowed his patients out by the dozen. The theory was 
pleasant both to doctor and patient, and peculiarly suited the jolly 
air of the giver. We beg pardon for not having drawn a more 
elaborate sketch of Mr. Swizzle before. In height he was exactly 
five feet eight, and forty years of age. He had a long fat red face, 
with little twinkling black eyes, set high in his forehead, surmounted 
by fullish eyebrows and short bristly iron-grey hair, brushed up like a 
hedgehog's back. His nose was snub, and he rejoiced in an ample 
double chin, rendered more conspicuous by the tightness of an ill-tied 
white neckcloth, and the absence of all whisker or hair from his face. 
A country-made snuff-coloured coat, black waistcoat, and short 
greenish drab trousers, with high-lows, were the adjuncts of his 
short ungainly figure. A peculiarly good-natured smile hovered 
round the dimples of his fat cheeks, which set a patient at ease on 
the instant. This, with his unaffected, cheery, free and easy manner 
and the comfortable nature of his prescriptions, gained him innu- 
merable patients. That to some he did good, there is no doubt. 
The mere early rising and exercise he insisted upon, would renovate 
a constitution impaired by too close application to business and bad 
air ; while the gourmand, among whom his principal practice lay, 
would be benefited by abstinence and regular hours. The water no 
doubt had its merits, but, as usual, was greatly aided by early rising, 
pure air, the absence of cares, regular habits, and the other advan- 
tages, which mineral waters invariably claim as their own. One 
thing the Doctor never wanted — a reason why he did not cure. If a 
patient went back on his hands, he soon hit off an excuse — " You 
surely didn't dine off goose, on Michaelmas-day ? " or " Hadn't you 
some filberts for dessert ? " &c, all of which information he got from 
the servants or shopkeepers of the place. When a patient died on hi? 
bands, he used to say, " He was rs good as dead when he came," 





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OR, ME. JORROCKS'S HUNT. il 

The Handley Cross mania spread throughout the land ! Invalids 
In every stage of disease and suffering were attracted by Roger's 
name and fame. The village assumed the appearance of a town. A 
handsome Crescent reared its porticoed front at the north end of the 
green, to the centre house of which the Doctor removed from his 
humble whitewashed cottage, which was immediately rased, to make 
way for a square of forty important houses. Buildings shot up in 
all directions. Streets branched out, and markets, and lawns, and 
terraces, stretched to the right and the left, the north, the south, the 
east, and the west. The suburbs built their Prospect Houses, Rose 
Hill Villas, Hope Cottages, Grove Places, Gilead Terraces, and 
Tower View Halls. A fortune was expended on a pump-room, 
opening into spacious promenade and ball-rooms, but the speculators 
never flagged, and new works were planned before those in hand 
were completed. 

A thriving trade soon brings competition — another patientless 
doctor determined to try his luck in opposition to Roger Swizzle. 
Observing the fitness of that worthy's figure for the line he had 
taken, Dr. Sebastian Mello considered that his pale and sentimental 
countenance better became a grave and thoughtful character, so 
determined to devote himself to the serious portion of the popula- 
tion. He too was about forty, but a fair complexion, flowing sandy 
locks, and a slight figure, would let him pass for ten years younger. 
He had somewhat of a Grecian face, with blue eyes, and regular 
teeth, vieing the whiteness of his linen. 

Determined to be Swizzle's opposite in every particular, he was 
studiously attentive to his dress. Not that he indulged in gay 
colours, but his black suit fitted without a wrinkle, and his thin 
dress boots shone with patent polish ; turned-back cambric wrist- 
bands displayed the snowy whiteness of his hand, and set off a 
massive antique ring or two. He had four small frills to his shirt, 
and an auburn hair chain crossed his broad roll-collared waistcoat, 
and passed a most diminutive Geneva watch into its pocket. He 
was a widower with two children, a boy and a girl, one five and the 
other four. Mystery being his object, he avoided the public gaze. 
Unlike Roger Swizzle, who either trudged from patient to patient, or 
whisked about in a gig, Dr. Sebastian Mello drove to and fro in a 
claret-coloured fly, drawn by dun ponies. Through the plate-glass 
windows a glimpse of his reclining figure might be caught, lolling 
luxuriously in the depths of its swelling cushions, or musing compla- 
cently with his chin on a massive gold-headed cane. With the men 
he was shy and mysterious ; but he could talk and flatter the women 
into a belief that they were almost as clever as himself. 

As most of his fair patients were of the serious, or blue-stocking 
gchool, he quickly discovered the bent of each mind, and by studying 
the subject, astonished them by his genius and versatility. In prac- 
tice he was also mysterious. Disdaining Roger Swizzle's one mod? 

c 



18 HANDLEY CROSS; 

of treatment, he professed to take each case upon its merits, and 
kept a large quarto volume, into which he entered each case, and its 
daily symptoms. Thus, while Roger Swizzle was inviting an invalid 
to exhibit his tongue at the corner of a street — lecturing him, 
perhaps, with a friendly poke in the ribs, for over-night indulgence, 
Dr. Mello would be poring over his large volume, or writing Latin 
prescriptions for the chemists. Roger laughed at Sebastian, and 
Sebastian professed to treat Roger with contempt — still competition 
was good for both, and a watering-place public, ever ready for excite- 
ment, soon divided the place into Swizzleites and Melloites. 

Portraits appeared at the windows, bespeaking the character of 
each — Swizzle sat with a patient at a round table, indulging in a 
bee's-winged bottle of port, while Mello reclined in a curiously 
carved chair, one be-ringed hand supporting his flowing-locked head, 
and the other holding a book. Swizzle's was painted by the artist 
who did the attractive window-blind at the late cigar shop in the 
Piccadilly Circus, while Sebastian was indebted to Mr. Grant for the 
gentlemanly ease that able artist invariably infuses into his admirable 
portraits. 

Just as the rival doctors were starting into play, a third character 
slipped into Handley Cross, without which, a watering-place is incom- 
plete. A tall, thin, melancholy-looking man made his appearance at 
the Spa, and morning after morning, partook of its beverage, without 
eliciting from widow, wife, or maid, an inquiry as to who he was. 
He might be a methodist preacher, or a music-master, or a fiddler, or 
a fencer, or a lawyer, or almost anything that one chose to fancy — 
he might also be any age, from five-and-thirty to fifty, or even more, 
for strongly indented lines furrowed the features of a square and 
cadaverous countenance, while intrusive grey hairs appeared among 
his thin black hair, plastered to advantage over a flat low forehead — 
straggling whiskers fringed his hollow cheeks, growing into a some- 
what stronger crop below the chin. 

His costume consisted of an old well-brushed hat, lined throughout 
with black, a mohair stock, with a round embroidered shirt-collar, an 
old white-elbowed, white-seamed black dress coat, while a scrimpy, 
i]l-washed buff waistcoat exposed the upper buttons of a pair of much 
puckered Oxford-grey trousers, and met, in their turn, a pair of square- 
cut black gaiters and shoes. 

• The place being yet in its infancy, and many of the company mere 
birds of passage, the " unnoticed " held on the even tenor of his way, 
until he ate himself into the President's chair of the Dragon Hotel. 
He then became a man of importance. The after-comers, having 
never known him in any other situation, paid him the deference due 
to a man who daily knocked the table with a hammer, and proposed 
the health of " Her Majesty the Queen," while mutual convenience 
connived at the absurdity of being introduced by a man who knew 
nothing of either party. Being of a ferreting disposition he soon got 



OR, MR. JORROCKS'8 HUNT. n 

acquainted with people's histories, and no impediment appearing in 
the way, he at length dubbed himself Master of the Ceremonies, and 
issued his cards, 

"Captain Doleful, M.C." 

Who, or what he was, where he came from, or anything about him, 
no one ever cared to inquire. He was now a Master of the Cere- 
monies," and Masters of Ceremonies are not people to trifle with. 
The visitors who witnessed his self-installation having gone, and 
feeling his throne pretty firm under him, he abdicated the chair at 
the Dragon, and retiring to lodgings at Miss Jelly's, a pastry-cook 
and confectioner, at the corner of two streets, opened books at the 
libraries for the reception and record of those complimentary fees 
that prudent mammas understand the use of too well for us to shock 
the delicacy of either party by relating. 

This much, however, we should mention of Captain Doleful'a 
history, for the due appreciation of his amiable character. He was 
pretty well off, that is to say, he had more than he spent ; but money 
being the darling object of his heart, he perhaps saved more than 
others would have done out of the same income. He had been in 
the militia — the corps we forget — but he had afterwards turned coal- 
merchant (at Stroud, we believe), an unprosperous speculation, so he 
sold the good-will of a bad business to a young gentleman anxious for 
a settlement, and sunk his money in an annuity. There are dozens 
of such men at every large watering-place. In this case, a master of 
the ceremonies was as much wanted as anything else, for the Pump 
and Promenade Rooms were on the eve of completion, and there 
would be no one to regulate the music in the morning, the dances in 
the evening, or the anticipated concerts of the season. It was out of 
Roger Swizzle's line, and, of course, Sebastian Mello disapproved of 
such frivolities. 

Handley Cross had now assumed quite a different character. In- 
stead of a quiet, secluded village, rarely visited by a stranger, and 
never by any vehicle of greater pretensions than a gig, it had become 
a town of some pretension, with streets full of shops, large hotels, 
public buildings, public houses, and promenades. The little boys 
and girls left their labour in the fields, to become attendants on leg- 
weary donkeys, or curtseying offerers of wild flowers to the strangers. 
A lovers' walk, a labyrinth, a waterfall, grottoes, and a robber's cave, 
were all established •, and as the controversy between the doctors 
waxed warmer, Sebastian Mello interdicted his patients from the use 
of Swizzle's Spa, and diluting a spring with Epsom salts and other 
ingredients, proclaimed his to be the genuine one, and all others 
spurious. He then, under the signature of " Galen," entered into a 
learned and rather acrimonious argument with himself, in the great 
London Medical Mediator, as to the wonderful virtues of the Handley 
Cross New Spa. 

c2 



18 HANDLE Y CBOSS ; 

Galen, who led the charge, while admitting Dr. Mello's great 
talents, had described the waters as only so so ; while Dr. Sebastian 
Mello, disdaining the paltry subterfuge of an anonymous signature, 
boldly came forward and stated facts to prove the contrary. 

Galen, nothing daunted, quoted other places as superior ; but hk 
vehemence diminishing in the ratio of the doctor's eloquent con- 
fidence, he gradually died out, leaving the doctor the undisputed 
champion of a water capable of curing every disease under the sun. 
Parliament being up, and news scarce, the doctor contrived, through 
the medium of a brother, a selector of shocking accidents, to get 
sundry extracts inserted in a morning paper, from whence the 
evening ones gladly transplanting them, and the country ones rehash- 
ing them for their Saturday customers, the name of the waters, and 
the fame of the doctor, spread throughout the land, and caused a 
wonderful sensation in his favour. 

The effects were soon felt, for lodgings and houses were written for 
from all parts, and as a crowning piece of luck a railway was just 
then opened out to Silverley, some twenty miles beyond, for the 
purpose of supplying London with lily-white sand, which was soon 
converted into a passenger line, with a station for our rising Spa. 



CHAPTEK III. 

THE RIVAL ORATORS. 



Thus, then, matters stood at Michael Hardey's death. A great 
town had risen in the centre of his country, the resort of the rich, 
the healthy, the sick, and the idle of the land. Eival doctors 
divided the medical throne, and Captain Doleful was the self- 
appointed arbiter elegantiarum. The hounds, though originally 
hardly a feature, had lately been appended to the list of attractions 
both in the way of newspaper encomiums, and in the more open 
notice of " Houses to Let." Indeed, such was the fame of Michael 
and his pack, that several corpulent cob-riding bachelors had taken 
up their quarters at Handley Cross, for the purpose of combining 
morning exercise and evening amusements, and several young gentle- 
men had shown such an anxiety to get the horses out of the flys, that 
Duncan Nevin, the livery-stable-keeper, had begun to think seriously 
of keeping a hack hunter or two. 

This worthy — a big, consequential, dark-haired, dark-eyed, butler- 
marrying housekeeper, having run the gauntlet of inn, public-house, 
and waiter, since he left service, had set up in Handley Cross, as 
spring-van luggage remover, waiter at short notice, and owner of a 
oouple of flys and three horses, an establishment that seemed more 



OR, MR. JORROCKS'8 HUNT. 1* 

likely to do good than any of his previous speculations. Not that he 
knew any thing about horses, but having resolved that ten pounds 
was an outside price, he could not easily lose much. As a seller he 
was less contracted in his estimates. 

He it was who first heard of the death of Michael Hardey, and 
quickened by self-interest he was soon at Miss Jelly's with Captain 
Doleful. Roger Swizzle being seen feeling a patient's pulse in a 
donkey gig, was invited to the consultation, and though none of 
them saw how the thing was to be accomplished — they agreed that it 
would be a great feature to have the hounds at Handley Cross, and 
that a public meeting should be called to take the matter into con- 
sideration. Of course, like sensible people, the landowners would 
take their tone from the town, it being an established rule at all 
watering-places, that the visitors are the lords paramount of the 
soil. 

The meeting, as all watering-place meetings are, was most 
numerously attended ; fortunately some were there who could direct 
the line of proceeding. On the motion of Captain Doleful, Augustus 
Barnington, Esq., a rich, red-headed, Cheshire squire, took the chair, 
and not being a man of many words, contented himself by stammer- 
ing something about honour, and happy to hear observations. We 
do not know that we need introduce Mr. Barnington further at 
present, save as the obedient husband of a very imperious lady, the 
self-appointed Queen of Handley Cross. 

Captain Doleful then squared himself into attitude, and after three 
or four ghastly simpers and puckers of his mouth, complimented the 
husband of his great patron, upon the very able manner in which he 
had opened the business of the meeting. " It would be superfluous 
in him to waste their valuable time in dilating upon the monstrous 
advantages of a pack of hounds, not only in a health-giving point of 
view, but as regarded the prosperity of their beautiful and flourishing 
town. To what w r as the prosperity of other inferior places to be 
ascribed, but to their hunting establishments, for it was well known 
their waters were immeasurably inferior to what they enjoyed, not 
only in sulphuretted hydrogen, but also in iodine and potash. But 
that was beside the question. For his own part, he stood there upou 
public grounds alone (hear, hear). His numerous and arduous duties 
of regulating the Spas in the mornings, the promenades at noon, and 
the balls and concerts of an evening, left him but too little leisure as 
it was to pay those polite attentions to the fashionable world which 
were invariably expected from a well-bred master of ceremonies. 
Many of the aristocratic visitors to be sure, he observed 6y the sub- 
scription book at the library, had kindly overlooked his remissness, 
unintentional and scarcely to be avoided as it was — and he trusted 
others would extend him a similar indulgence. With respect to the 
maintenance of the fox-hounds, he confessed he was incompetent to 
offer any suggestion ; for though he had long worn a scarlet coat, it 



20 HANDLEY CB0S8; 

was when in the army — a Militia captain — and hunting formed no 
part of their exercise. Perhaps some gentleman who understood 
something about the matter, would favour the meeting with his ideas 
upon the number of dogs and foxes they should keep (laughter) ; the 
probable expense of their maintenance (renewed laughter) ; and then 
they might set about seeing what they could raise by way of subscrip- 
tion." The conclusion of his speech was greeted with loud applause, 
amid which the Captain resumed his seat with a long-protracted, 
mouth-stretching, self-satisfied grin. 

Mr. Dennis O'Brian, a big broad-shouldered, black-whiskered, 
card-playing, fortune-hunting Irishman, after a short pause rose to 
address the meeting. " Upon his honour," said he, throwing open 
his coat, "but the last spoken honourable jontleman had made a 
mighty nate introduction of the matter in its true light, for there 
was no denying the fact that money was all that was wanted to carry 
on the war. He knew the Ballyshannon dogs in the county of 
Donegal, kept by Mr. Trodennick, which cost half nothing at all and 
a little over, which showed mighty nate sport, and that was all they 
wanted. By the powers I but they were the right sort, and followed 
by rale lovers of the sport from a genuine inclination that way, and 
not for mere show sake, like many of the spalpeens of this country 
(applause). If the company would appoint him manager-gineral, and 
give him a couple of hundred in hand, and three or four more at the 
end of the season, by the holy piper ! he would undertake to do all 
that was nadeful and proper, and make such an example of every- 
thing that came in his way, as would astonish his own and their 
wake minds for iver. He would have foxes' pates by the dozen. 
He had no fear ; faith none at all. By the great gun of Athlone he 
would ride in and out of the Ballydarton pound, or fly at a six-foot 
brick and mortar wall, dashed, spiked, and coped with broken 
bottles ! He had a horse that he would match against any thing 
that iver was foaled, a perfect lump of elasticity from his shoulder to 
the tip of his tail — the devil be with him ! but when you got on his 
back it was ten to one but he sprung you over his head by the mere 
contraction of his muscles ! Faith ! at his castle in Connaught, he 
had many such, and he would give any jontleman or man of fortune 
in the company that would fetch a few over to England one for his 
trouble." Thus Mr. Dennis O'Brian rattled on for ten minutes or 
more without producing any favourable effect upon the meeting, for 
having won or borrowed money from most of them, no one felt 
inclined to allow him to increase his obligations. 

When he had exhausted himself, Mr. Romeo Simpkins, a pert, but 
simple-looking, pink-and-white, yellow-haired youth, studying the law 
in Hare Court, in the Temple, being anxious to train his voice for the 
bar, came forward from the crowd that had congregated behind the 
chair, and looking very sheepish, after casting his eye into his hat, 
where he had a copious note of his speech, set off at a hand gallop 



OB, MB. JOBBOCKS'S HVNT. 21 

with the first sentence as follows : — " Mr. Chairman and gentlemen, 
in presuming to introduce myself upon the notice of the meeting, I 
assure you I am actuated by no motive but an anxious desire, such as 
must pervade the breast of every free-born Englishman, every lover 
of his country — every — I mean to say every — every " — here he looked 
imploringly round the room, as much as to say, " What a mess I'm 
in ! " and then casting his eyes into his hat again, attempted to read 
his notes, but he had made them so full, and the novelty of his 
situation had so bewildered him that they were of no use, and, after 
a long string of stutters, he slunk back into the crowd amid the 
laughter and applause of the company. As he left the room, he 
dropped his notes, which, as the reader will see from the following 
specimen, were framed for rather a serious infliction : " Presume U 
address — love of country — of all out-of-door amusements, nothing 
like hunting — encouraged by best authorities — practised by greatest 
men — Sacred history — Nimrod of Babylon — Yenus took the field — 
Adonis killed in chase — Persians fond of hunting — Athenians ditto — 
Solon restrained ardour — Lacedemonians and their breed of speedy 
dogs — Xenophon — Olympic games — Romans — Aristotle — Oppi an — 
Adrian — Ascanius — Somerville — Beckford — Meynell— Colonel Cook 
—Nimrod of Calais — Thanks — Attentive hearing." 

Mr. Abel Snorem next addressed the meeting. He was a grey- 
headed, sharp-visaged, long-nosed, but rather gentlemanly-looking, 
well-dressed man, who was notorious for addressing every meeting he 
could get to, and wearying the patience of his audiences by his long- 
winded orations. Throwing back his coat, he gave the table a thump 
with his knuckles, and immediately proceeded to speak, lest the 
Chairman should suffer anyone else to catch his eye — " Mr. Chair- 
man and gentlemen," said he, " if I am rightly informed — for I have 
not a copy of the proclamation with me — this meeting has been con- 
vened for the purpose of taking into consideration a very important 
question connected with the prosperity of this salubrious spot, — a 
spot, I may say, unrivalled both for its health-giving properties, and 
for those rural beauties that nature has so bountifully lavished around. 
In bringing our minds to the calm and deliberate consideration of 
the subject — fraught, as I may say it is, with the welfare, the hap- 
piness, the recreation, the enjoyment, of many of those around — I 
feel assured that it would be wholly superfluous in me to point out 
the propriety of exercising a sound, impartial, unbiassed judgment 
— dismissing from our minds all political bias, all party feeling, all 
invidious comparison, all speculative theories, and of looking at the 
question in its single capacity, weighing it according to its true 
merits, apart from all personal consideration, and legislating upon it 
in such a manner as we shall conceive will be most conducive to the 
true interest of this town, and to the honour and welfare of the British 
dominions. (Laughter and loud coughing, with cries of " question.^ 
The question appeared to him to be one of great simplicity, and whether 



22 BANDLEY CROSS; 

ne regarded it in the aggregate, or considered it in detail, he found 
none of those perplexing difficulties, those aggravating technicalities, 
those harrowing, heart-burning jealousies, that too frequently en- 
veloped matters of less serious import, and led the mind insensibly 
from the contemplation of the abstract question that should engage 
it, into those loftier fields of human speculation that better suited the 
discursive and ethereal genius of the philosopher, than the more 
substantial matter-of-fact understandings of sober-minded men of 
business (loud coughing and scraping of feet). Neither was it tinc- 
tured with any considerations that could possibly provoke a com- 
parison between the merits of the agricultural and manufacturing 
interests, or excite a surmise as to the stability of the lords, or the 
security of the Church, or yet the constitution of the commons ; it 
was, in short, one of those questions upon which contending parties, 
meeting on neutral ground, might extend the right hand of fellow- 
ship and friendship, when peace and harmony might kiss each other, 
truth and justice join the embrace, and the lion and the lamb lie 
lown together " — (" Cock a doodle doo ! " crowed some one, which 
produced a roar of laughter, followed by cheers, whistles, coughs, 
scraping of feet, and great confusion.) Mr. Snorem, quite un- 
daunted and with features perfectly unmoved, merely noticed the 
interruption by a wave of the right hand, and silence returning, in 
consequence of the exhaustion of the " movement " party, he drew 
breath and again went off at score. 

" The question, he would repeat, was far from being one of 
difficulty — nay, so simple did it appear to his mind, that he should 
be greatly surprised if any difference of opinion existed upon it. He 
rejoiced to think so, for nothing was more conducive to the success 
of a measure than the unanimous support of all parties interested in 
it ; and he did hope and trust, that the result of that meeting would 
show to the world how coinciding in sentiment had been the delibera- 
tion of the distinguished assembly which he then had the honour of 
addressing (applause with loud coughing, and renewed cries of 
" question, question," " shut it up," " order, order.") — He was deal- 
ing with it as closely, and acutely, as logic and the English language 
would allow (renewed uproar). It appeared to him to be simply this 
— Divest the question of all superfluous matter, all redundant 
verbiage, and then, let the meeting declare that the establishment 
respecting whose future maintenance they had that day assembled, 
had been one of essential service to the place — upon that point, he 
had no doubt they would be unanimous — (" yes, yes, we know all 
that"). Secondly ; they should declare that its preservation was one 
of paramount importance to the place and neighbourhood, and then 
it would necessarily resolve itself into this (" Cock a doodle doo ! " 
with immense laughter) — those who were of opinion that the 
establishment was of importance would give it their countenance 
and support, while on the other hand those who were of a contrary 



OR, MR. JORROCKS'S EUNf. 23 

opinion, would have nothing whatever to say to it. He regretted the 
apparent reluctance of some of the company to grant him a fair and 
extended hearing, because, without vanity, he thought that a gentle- 
man like himself in the habit of attending and addressing public 
meetings (laughter) was likely to clear away many of the cobwebs, 
films, mystifications, and obstructions that hung in the way of a clear 
and unprejudiced \iew and examination of the question ; but such 
unfortunately being the case, he should content himself by simply 
moving the resolution which he held in his hand and would read to 
the company. 

" That it is the opinion of this meeting, that the hounds which 
have hitherto hunted the vale of Sheepwash and adjacent country, 
have contributed very materially to the amusement of the inhabitants 
and visitors of Handley Cross Spa." Mr. Hookem, the librarian, 
seconded the resolution, which was put, and carried unanimously. 

Mr. Fleeceall, the solicitor, a violent Swizzleite, then stood forward 
to address the meeting. — He was a tallish, middle-aged, very sinister- 
looking, bald-headed gentleman, with a green patch over one eye, 
and a roguish expression in the other. He was dressed in a claret- 
coloured duffle-jacket, a buff kerseymere waistcoat with gilt buttons, 
drab trousers, with shoes and stockings. After two or three hems 
and haws, he began — "Very few countries," he said, "were now 
without hounds — certainly none in the neighbourhood of a town of 
the size, importance, and population of Handley Cross ; a population 
too, he should observe, composed almost entirely of the aristocracy 
and pleasure and health-hunting portions of society. — A couplet 
occurred to his recollection, which he thought was not inapplicable to 
the question before them, though he must observe that he introduced 
it without reference to any quarrel he might have had with a certain 
would-be medical man in the place, and without any intention of 
injuring that individual in the estimation of those who were inclined 
to place confidence in his prescriptions ; he merely quoted the lines 
in illustration of his position, and as being better than his great and 
increasing business, not only as an Attorney at law, and Solicitor in 
the High Court of Chancery, but also as a Conveyancer, and 
Secretary of the Board of Guardians, and Clerk of the Mount Zion 
turnpike road, would allow him time to pen. They were these : 

" ' Better to rove in fields for health unbought, 
Than fee the doctor for a nauseous draught ; ' 

and he was sure no one there would deny that hunting, of all 
pursuits, was best calculated to restore or produce health and drive 
away dull care, the ills and evils of life, whether in mind or body 
(applause). Exercise, he would say, without invidious allusion, was 
the best of all medicines. They were standing in the garden of 
England. On every side Nature's charms were displayed around ,• 
and nandley Cross was the capital of Beauty's empire (applause). 



24 BANBLEY GROSS; 

Within her bounds an unrivalled Spa had burst into existence, the 
health-giving qualities of whose gushing waters would draw people 
from all nations of the earth (cheers). Air, water, and exercise, he 
contended, would cure anything that was capable of relief (cheers). 
Let them, then, take measures for inducing people to enjoy the pure 
atmosphere from other motives than mere change of air, and the day 
could not be far distant when quackery would fail and hunting 
nourish. His business, as he said before, was great — almost over- 
powering ; but such was his devotion to the place — such his detesta- 
tion of humbug and knavery, that he would not hesitate to accept 
the situation of secretary to the hunt in addition to his other 
numerous and arduous appointments, and accept it too upon terms 
much lower than any other man could afford to take it at." 

Mr. Smith, a Hampshire gentleman, one of the earliest patrons of 
Handley Cross Spa, who, from the circumstance of his lodging round 
the corner of Hookem's library, had acquired the name of " Round- 
the-corner Smith," next presented himself to the notice of the 
meeting. He was a smart, genteelly dressed man, apparently about 
nve-and-thirty, or forty, with a tremendous impediment in his 
speech — so troublesome was it indeed, that it was hard to say 
whether it was most distressing to his hearers or himself. After 
opening a very natty single-breasted blue surtout, so as to exhibit a 
handsome double-breasted shawl waistcoat hung with Venetian chains, 
he coughed, and commenced — not a speech but a long string of 
stutters. " He felt con-sid-did-did-did-rable di-di-di-difficulty in pro- 
no-no-no-no-nouncing an o-p-p-p-p-pinion upon the matter under 
con-sid-did-did-de-ration, because he was not co-co-co-co-conversant 
with the c-c-country, b-b-but he t-t-took it to be an establish-lish- 
lished rule, that all men who h-h-hun-hunted regularly with a 
p-p-pack of ho-ho-ho-hounds, ought to contribute to their sup-sup- 
sup-porb. He knew something about h-h-h-hun-hunting, and if his 
hu-hu-hu-humble services would be of any avail, the co-co-co-country 
might command them. At the same time he thought, that the 
h-h-h-hunt would be more li-li-likely to pros-pros-prosper if there 
were more ma-managers than one, and that a co-co-co-committee 
would be the likeliest thing under existing cir-cir-cir-cumstances to 
give sa-tis-tis-faction — He therefore be-be-begged to move the follow- 
ing resolution. — That it is expe-pe-pedient that the Vale of She-she- 
sheepwash ho-ho-ho-hounds should in fu-fu-future be carried on by 
subscription, bj a co-co-co-committee of management, under the 
name of the Ha-ha-ha-handley Cross ho-ho-ho-hounds." 

Captain Doleful begged to " propose as a fit and proper person to 
be associated with the honourable gentleman who had just addressed 
them, in the future management of the pack, his worthy, excellent, 
public-spirited, and popular friend, Augustus Barnington, Esq., of 
Barnington Hall, Cheshire, who, he felt convinced, would prove a 
most valuable ally not only in the field but also in superintending 



OR, MR. JORROCKS'S BUNT. 28 

the home department, and arrangements, such as hunt dinners, hunt 
balls, and other entertainments to the ladies, which he felt assured, 
it would be equally the pride of the hunt to offer, and the pleasure of 
the fair sex to accept." (Applause.) 

Some one then proposed, that Stephen Dumpling, son of the dun- 
pony riding doctor, should form the third. 

Old Dumpling was dead, leaving Stephen a nice farm, and some- 
what independent, but the latter had a soul above the plough, and 
having got a cornetcy in the yeomanry, he started a gig and horse, 
and drove about with a clown at his side, with a cockade in his hat. 
Stephen was a goodish-looking, half-buck, half-hawbuck, sort of 
fellow. He was of middle stature, dark-complexioned, with dark 
eyes and hair ; but there was an unfinished style about him that 
marred the general effect. If his hat was good, his boots were bad, 
and a good coat would be spoilt by a vulgar waistcoat, or misfitting 
trousers. He grew whiskers under his chin — smoked cigars — and 
rode steeple-chases. Still he was an aspiring youth, and took, as a 
matter of right, that which was only done to keep the farmers and 
landowners quiet — namely, adding him to the committee. 

All this being carried nem. con., the uniform was next discussed, 
and great was the diversity of opinion as to colour. Some wanted 
yellow, some wanted green, others blue, some both blue and green ; 
in short, all gay colours had their supporters, but the old scarlet at 
length carried it, with the addition of a blue collar. 

But the resolutions will best describe the result of the meeting. 

The following is a copy : — 

At a meeting of the visitors and inhabitants of Handley Cross Spa, 
held at the Dragon Hotel, in Handley Cross, to take into considera- 
tion the circumstances arising out of the lamented death of Michael 
Hardey, Esq., the late master of the hounds : 

Augustus Barnington, Esq., in the Chair : 

It was resolved, 

That it is highly expedient to continue the hunt, and remove the 
hounds to Handley Cross. 

That Augustus Barnington, Henry Smith, and Stephen Dumpling, 
Esquires, be appointed a committee of management. 

That a club be formed, called the Handley Cross Hunt Club, the 
subscription to be three guineas, to be paid annually in November, to 
which the first twenty members shall be elected by the committee, 
and the subsequent members by the club at large — one black ball in 
ten excluding. 

That, in order to meet the wishes of gentlemen desirous of con- 
tributing more than the annual subscription of three guineas, the 
treasurer be fully authorised to take as much as any one will give. 

That the morning or undress uniform be a scarlet coat, with a blue 



26 ttANDLET G&Od&i 

collar, and such a button as the masters may appoint, breeches and 
waistcoat ad libitum. 

That the evening or dress uniform be a sky-blue coat, lined with 
pink silk, canary-coloured shorts, and white silk stockings. 

That any member appearing at the cover side, or at an evening 
meeting of the members, in any other dress, be fined one pound one, 
for the good of the hunt. 

Signed, A. Barnington, Chairman. 



CHAPTER IV. 

THE HUNT BALL. 

'* Then round the room the circling Dowagers sweep, 
Then in loose waltz their thin-clad daughters leap ; 
The first in lengthened line majestic swim, 
The last display the free unfettered limb." 

Jot, universal joy, prevailed at Handley Cross, when it became 
known that a committee of management had undertaken to hunt the 
Vale of Sheepwash. The place had not had such a filip before — 
Farmers looked at their fields and their stacks, and calculated the 
consumption of corn. 

Duncan Nevin took a six-stalled stable, and putting a splendid 
sign of a fox peeping over a rock at some rabbits, christened it the 

"nimrod mews' 

livery and bait stables. 

hunters, hacks, and perfect ladies' pads. 

n.b. a glass coach." 

Emboldened by success, he scraped together five-and-twenty 
pounds, and asked everybody he met, if he could tell him of a horse 
for the field. No one with money need long want a horse, but 
Duncan saw so differently when purchasing, to what he did when 
selling, that he seemed to have two pair of eyes. To be sure, he was 
a good judge of a tail, and that, for a watering-place job-master, is 
something — " Don't tell me what Tattersall says about rat-tails," he 
used to observe, " I like them full, fine, and long. A horse with a 
full tail looks well in the field, on the road, or in harness, and will 
ilways bring his price." 

His first purchase was an old Roman-nosed, white-faced, white- 
stockinged, brown horse, that had carried the huntsman of a pack of 
harriers for many a year, and was known by the distinguished name 
of Bull-dog. He was a little, well-shaped, but remarkably ugly horse, 



OR, MR, JORROCKS'S HUNT. 



27 



and had a rheumatic affection in one of his hind legs, that caused him 
to limp, and occasionally go on three legs. He was never fast, and 
sixteen or seventeen years had somewhat slackened the pace of his 
youth : but he was a remarkably hard- con stitutioned animal, that no 
one could drive beyond his speed, and he could creep through or leap 
almost anything he was put to. 




" A SHOWY, WASHY, USELESS BEAST." 



The harriers being done up, the subscribers had handsomely pre- 
sented the huntsman with his horse, which he came to offer Duncan 
Nevin for his stud. " He's varrar like the field," observed Nevin, 
eyeing him, " but his tail's shocking shabby, more like a worn-out 
whitenin-brush than anything else — our customers require them hand- 
some — I fear he would only do for the field — I want them, generally 
useful." 

The huntsman declared he would go twice a-week all the season, 
and offered to leap him over a gate. This he did so well, that 



28 HANBLEY CROSS; 

Duncan Nevin priced him — fifteen pounds was all he asked, and he 
bought him for ten. 

A sixteen hands bad bay mare, with a very large head, very light 
middle, and tail down to the hocks, was his next purchase for the field. 
She was a showy, washy, useless beast, that could caper round a 
corner or gallop half-mile heats, if allowed plenty of breathing time, 
but invariably pulled off her shoes at her leaps, and was a whistler to 
boot — she cut behind and dished before — still she had an undeniable 
tail, and her size, and great hocks, as she stood well-clothed and 
littered, gave her the appearance of a hunter. She was six years old, 
had never done any work — because she never could, and in all proba- 
bility never would. The wags christened her Sontag, on account of 
her musical powers. 

Fair Rosamond, a little cantering up and down white hack, stood 
in the third stall ; and when all the three fly-horses were in, 
which was never except at night, the six-stall stable was full. The 
news of the purchases flew like lightning ; the number was soon 
magnified into ten — crowds besieged the mews to learn the terms, 
and the secretary wrote to know what Nevin meant to give to the 
hunt. 

Everything now looked cheerful and bright — the hounds were the 
finest playthings in the world — they furnished occupation morning, 
noon, and night. Every man that was ever known to have been on 
horseback was invited to qualify for wearing the unrivalled uniform. 
Names came rolling in rapidly — the farmers, to the number of fifteen, 
sent in their five and ten pound notes, while the visitors were ex- 
tremely liberal with their names, especially on a representation from 
Fleeceall, that payment might be made at their convenience — their 
names, the honour of their names, in short, being the principal thing 
the committee looked to. Dennis O'Brian put his down for five-and- 
twenty guineas, Romeo Simpkins did the same for five, Abel Snorem 
promised " to see what he could do," and all wrote, either promisingly, 
encouragingly, or kindly. 

Duncan Nevin converted a stable into a kennel and feeding-house, 
and gave up his wife's drying-ground for an airing yard, into which 
the poor hounds were getting constantly turned from their comfort- 
able benches, by one or other of the committee showing tb'jm off to 
his friends. Then the make, shape, and colour of every hound was 
discussed, and what some thought defects, others considered beauties. 
The kennel was pretty strong in numbers, for all the worn-out, blear- 
eyed hounds were scraped together from all parts of the Vale, to make 
a show ; while a white terrier, with a black patch on his eye — who was 
re-christened "Mr. Fleeceall" — and an elegantly-clipped, curled, 
dressed, and arranged black French poodle, were engaged to attract 
the ladies, who seldom have any taste for fox-hounds. Every allure- 
ment was resorted to, to draw company. 

Poor Peter soon began to feel the change of service. Instead of 



OR, MR. JORROCKS'S HUNT. 2ft 



Michael Hardey's friendly intercourse, almost of equality, he was 
ordered here, there, and everywhere, by his numerous masters ; it was 
Peter here, Peter there, and Peter everywhere, no two masters agree- 
ing in orders. Smith would have the hounds exercised by day- 
break ; Barnington liked them to go out afc noon, so that he could 
ride with them, and get them to know him ; and -"Dumpling thought 
the cool of the evening the pleasantest time. Then Barnington 
would direct Peter to go on the north road, to make the hounds handy 
among carriages, while Dumpling, perhaps, would write to have them 
brought south, to trot about the downs, and get them steady among 
mutton ; while Smith grumbled, and muttered something about 
"blockheads" — "knowing nothing about it." Each committee- 
man had his coterie, with whom he criticised the conduct of his 
colleages. 

Autumn " browned the beech," but the season being backwardly, 
and the managers not exactly agreeing in the choice of a whipper-in, 
the ceremony of cub-hunting was dispensed with, and Peter, with 
the aid of Barnington's groom, who had lived as a stable-boy 
with a master of hounds, was ordered to exercise the pack among 
the deer parks and preserves in the neighbourhood. November at 
length approached ; the latest packs began to advertise ; and Kirby- 
gate stood forth for the Melton hounds on the Monday. All then was 
anxiety ! Saddlers' shops were thronged at all hours. Griffith, the 
prince of whip-makers, opened an establishment containing every 
possible variety of hunting-whip ; and Latchford appointed an agent 
for the sale of his "persuaders." Ladies busied themselves with 
plaiting hat-cords for their favourites, and the low green chair at the 
boot-maker's was constantly occupied by some gentleman with his leg 
cocked in the air, as if he had taken a fit, getting measured for " a 
pair of tops." 

How to commence the season most brilliantly was the question, and 
a most difficult one it was. Dumpling thought a " flare-up " of fire- 
works over night would be a flash thing ; Bound-the-corner Smith 
was all for a hunt dinner ; and after due discussion and the same 
happy difference of opinion that had characterised all their other con- 
sultations, Captain Doleful recommended a ball, in the delusive hope 
that it would have the effect of making friends and getting sub- 
scribers to the hounds, and be done, as all contemplated acts are, at a 
very trifling expense. There was no occasion to give a supper, he 
said ; refreshments — tea, coffee, ices, lemonade, and negus, handed on 
trays, or set out in the anteroom, would be amply sufficient, nor was 
there any necessity for asking any one from whom they did not 
expect something in the way of support to the hounds. Round-the- 
corner Smith did not jump at the proposal, having been caught in a 
similar speculation of giving a ball to a limited party at Bath, and 
had been severely mulcted in the settling ; but Barnington stood in 
too wholesome a dread of his wife to venture any opposition to such 



30 HANDLEY CBOSS; 

a measure ; and Stephen Dumpling merged his fears in the honour 
and the hopes of making it pay indirectly by gaining subscribers to 
the hounds. The majority carried it ; and Captain Doleful spread 
the news like wildfire — of course, taking all the credit of the thing to 
himself. 

What a bustle it created in Handley Cross ! The poor milliner-girls 
stitched their fingers into holes, and nothing was seen at the tailors' 
windows but sky-blue coats lined with pink silk, and canary-coloured 
shorts. The thing looked well, for fourteen candidates appeared all 
ready to owe their three guineas for the honour of wearing the uni- 
form, or for the purpose of getting their wives and daughters invited 
to the ball. It was fixed for the first Monday in November, and it was 
arranged that the hounds should meet in the neighbourhood on the 
following day. 

Meanwhile the committee of management and Doleful met every 
morning for the purpose of making arrangements, sending invita- 
tions, and replying to applications for tickets. The thing soon 
began to assume a serious aspect ; the names which had first 
amounted to fifty had swelled into a hundred and thirteen, and each 
day brought a more numerous accession of strength than its prede- 
cessor. Round-the-corner Smith's face lengthened as the lists of 
guests increased, and Dumpling began to have his doubts about the 
safety of the speculation. Barnington took it very easily, for he had 
plenty of money, and the excitement kept his peevish wife in occu- 
pation ; and she, moreover, had plenty of friends, whom she kept 
showering in upon them at a most unmerciful rate. Every morning 
a footman in red plush breeches and a short jacket arrived with 
names to be put down for invitations. Doleful was in great favour 
with her, and by her request he took his place every morning at the 
table of the committee-room to keep her husband " right " as she 
called it. Of course, with such incongruous materials to work with, 
the thing was not arranged without great difficulty and dissension. 
Dumpling put down his cousins, the three Miss Dobbses, whose 
father was a farmer and brewer ; and making pretty good stuff, 
" Dobbs's Ale " was familiar at Handley Cross, and his name occupied 
divers conspicuous signs about the town. To these ladies Mrs. 
Barnington demurred, having no notion of " dancing in a hop- 
garden ; " and it was with the greatest difficulty, and only on the 
urgent representation of Doleful, that their rejection would cause the 
secession of Dumpling, that she consented to their coming. To 
divers others she took similar objections, many being too low, and 
Borne few too high for her, and being the daughter of a Leeds manu- 
facturer, she could not, of course, bear the idea of anything connected 
with trade. 

At the adjournment of each meeting, Doleful repaired to her and 
reported progress, carrying with him a list of invitations, acceptances, 
and refusals, with a prospectus of those they thought of inviting. 



OR, MR. JO]RROCKS'S HUNT. 31 

These latter underwent a rigid scrutiny by Mrs. Barnington, in aid 
of which all Doleful's local knowledge, together with Mrs. Fribble's 
milinery knowledge, Debrett's Baronetage, and Burke's Landed 
Gentry of England, were called together, and the list was reduced 
by striking out names with an elegant gold pencil-case with an 
amethyst seal, as she languished out her length on a chaise-longue. 
One hundred and fifty three acceptances, and nineteen invitations out, 
were at length reported the strength of the party ; and Mrs. Barn- 
ington, after a few thoughtful moments passed in contemplating the 
ceiling, expressed her opinion that there ought to be a regular supper, 
and desired Doleful to tell Barnington that he must do the thing as 
it ought to be, if it were only for her credit. Poor Doleful looked 
miserable at the mention of such a thing, for Smith and Dumpling 
had already begun to grumble and complain at the magnitude of the 
affair, which they had expected would have been a mere snug party 
among the members of the hunt and their friends, instead of beating 
up for recruits all the country round. Doleful, however, like a skilful 
militia-man, accomplished his object by gaining Dumpling over first, 
which he did by pointing out what an admirable opportunity it was 
for a handsome young man like himself, just beginning life, to get 
into good society, and perhaps marry an heiress ; and Dumpling 
being rather a pudding-headed sort of fellow, saw it in that light, 
and agreed to support Doleful's motion, on the assurance that it 
made very little difference in the expense whether the eatables' were 
set out lengthways on a table and called " supper," or handed about 
all the evening under the name of " refreshments." Indeed, Doleful 
thought the supper might be the cheaper of the two, inasmuch as it 
would prevent the pilfering of servants, and the repeated attacks of 
the hungry water-drinking guests. 

This matter settled, then came the fluttering and chopping-off of 
chickens' heads, the wringing of turkeys' necks, the soaking of tongues, 
the larding of hams, the plucking of pheasants, the skewering of 
partridges, the squeezing of lemons, the whipping of creams, the 
stiffening of jellies, the crossing of open tarts, the colouring of custards, 
the shaping of blanc-mange, the making of macaroons, the stewing 
of pears — all the cares and concomitants of ball-making and rout- 
giving ; and Spain, the " Gunter " of the place, wrote off to London 
for four-and-twenty sponge-cake foxes, with canary-coloured rosettes 
for tags to their brushes. 

The great, the important night at length arrived. The sun went 
down amidst a brilliant halo of purple light, illuminating the sky 
with a goodly promise of the coming day, but all minds were absorbed 
in the events of the evening, and for once the poet's " gay to-morrow 
of the mind " was disregarded. Every fly in the town was engaged 
nine deep, and Thompson and Fleuris, the opposition London and 
Parisian perruquiers, had dressed forty ladies each before five. 
Towards dusk, young gentlemen whose hair " curled naturally " 



32 HANDLE Y CROSS; 

came skulking Into their shops to get the " points taken off ; " aftei 
which, quite unconsciously, the irons were " run through," and the 
apprentice boys made door-mats of their heads by wiping their dirt? 
hands upon them, under pretence of putting a little " moisture in ; 
while sundry pretty maids kept handling little paste-board boxes over 
the counter, with whispered intimations that " it was wanted in time 
to dress for the ball." Master-tailors sat with their workmen, urging 
their needles to the plenitude of their pace ; and at dinner-time 
there were only three gentlemen in all the place minus the canary- 
coloured inexpressibles, and one whose sky-blue coat could not be 
lined until the Lily-white-sand train brought down a fresh supply oi 
pink silk from town. 

Doleful began dyeing his hair at three, and by five had it as dark 
as Warren's blacking. Mrs. Barnington did not rise until after the 
latter hour, having breakfasted in bed ; and young ladies, having 
taken quiet walks into the fields with their mammas in the morning 
to get up complexions and receive instructions whom to repress and 
whom to encourage, sat without books or work, for fear of tarnishing 
the lustre of their eyes. 

Night drew on — a death-like stillness reigned around, broken only 
by the occasional joke of a stationary fly-man, or the passing jibe of 
a messenger from the baker's, tailor's, or milliner's. The lower rooms 
of all the houses at length became deserted, and lights glimmered 
only in the upper stories, as though the inhabitants of Handley Cross 
were retiring to early rest. 

Again, as if by general consent, the lights descended, and in 
drawing-rooms where the blinds had not been drawn or curtains 
closed, those who stood in the streets might see elegantly dressed 
young ladies entering with flat candlesticks in their hands, and taking 
their places before the fire, with perhaps a satin-slippered foot on the 
fender, waiting with palpitating hearts for their flys, anxious for the 
arrival of the appointed time, dreading to be early, yet afraid to be 
late. Wheels had been heard, but they had only been " taking up," 
none as yet having started for the ball. At length the clatter 
of iron steps, the banging of doors, and the superfluous cry of 
" Rooms ! " resounded through the town, and the streets became 
redolent of animal life. 

A line of carriages and flys was soon formed in Bramber-street, 
and Hector Hardman, the head constable, with his gilt-headed staff 
in his hand, had terrible difficulty in keeping order, and the horse's 
heads and carriage poles in their places. Vehicles from all quarters 
and of every description came pouring in, and the greetings of 
the post-boys from a distance, the slangings of the flymen, with the 
dictatorial tones of gentlemen's coachmen and footmen, joined with 
the cries of the rabble round the door, as the sky-blue coats 
with pink silk linings popped out, resembled t)*> noise and hubbub 




WAITING FOR THE FLY. 



D 2 



OR, MR. JORROCKS'S HUNT. 33 

of the opera colonnade when a heavy shower greets the departing 
company. 

The " Ongar Rooms " were just finished, and, with the exception 
of a charity bazaar for the purpose of establishing a Sunday school 
at Sierra Leone, had never been used. They were a handsome suite 
of rooms on the ground floor, entered from the street by two or three 
stone steps, under a temporary canopy, encircled with evergreens and 
variegated lamps. From the entrance-hall, in which at each end a good 
fire blazed, two rooms branched off, one for gentleman's cloaks, the 
other for ladies. Immediately in front of the entrance, scarlet 
folding-doors with round panes opened into a well-proportioned 
ante-room, which again led into the ball-room. 

Ranged in a circle before the folding-doors, stood Barnington, 
Smith, Doleful, and Dumpling, all grinning, and dressed in sky-blue 
coats with pink linings, white waistcoats, canary-coloured shorts, and 
white silk stockings, except Doleful, who had on a crumpled pair of 
nankeen trousers, cut out over the instep, and puckered round the 
waist. Dumpling's dress was very good, and would have been perfect, 
had he not sported a pair of half dirty yellow leather gloves, and a 
shabby black neckcloth with red ends. There they all stood grin- 
ning and bowing as the entrances were effected, and Doleful intro- 
duced their numerons friends with whom they had not the happiness 
of a previous acquaintance. The plot soon thickened so much, that 
after bowing their heads like Chinese mandarins to several successive 
parties who came pushing their way into the room without receiving 
any Balutation in return, and the blue coats with pink lining become- 
ing too numerous to afford any distinguishing mark to the visitors, our 
managers and master of the ceremonies got carried into the middle of 
the room, after which the company came elbowing in at their ease, 
making up to their mutual friends as though it were a public 
assembly. 

The fiddlers next began scraping their instruments in the orchestra 
of the ball-room like horses anxious to be off, and divers puffs of the 
horn and bassoon sounded through the building, but still the doors 
remained closed, and Doleful cast many a longing anxious eye towards 
the folding doors. Need we say for whom he looked ? — Mrs. Barning- 
ton had not arrived, The music at length burst forth in good earnest, 
and Doleful, after numerous inquiries being made of him why the ball 
did not commence, at length asked Barnington if he thought his good 
lady was coming ; when most opportunely, a buzz and noise were heard 
outside — the folding doors flew open, and in Mrs. Barnington sailed, 
with her niece, Miss Rider, on her arm. 

Mrs. Barnington was a fine, tall, languishing-looking woman, 
Bomewhat getting on in years, but with marked remains of beauty, 
" sicklied o'er with the pale cast " of listlessness, produced by a mind 
unoccupied, and bodily strength unexercised. Her features were 
full sized, good, and regular, her complexion clear, with dark eye* 



34 BANDLEY GROSS; 

that sparkled when lighted with animation, but more generally reposed 
in a vacant stare whether she was engaged in conversation or not. 
She wore a splendid tiara of diamonds, with costly necklace and ear- 
rings of the same. Her dress, of the richest and palest pink satin, 
was girdled with a diamond stomacher, and a lengthening train 
swept majestically along the floor. Across her beautifully moulded 
neck and shoulders, in graceful folds, was thrown a white Cachmere 
shawl, and her ungloved arm exhibited a profusion of massive 
jewellery. Her entrance caused a buzz followed by silence through- 
out the room, and she sailed gracefully up an avenue formed by the 
separation of the company', — 

'* A queen in jest, only to fill the scene." 

Doleful and the managers came forward to receive her, and she 
inclined herself slightly towards them and the few people whom she 
deigned to recognise. 

Having, after infinite persuasion, consented to open the ball with 
Dumpling, and having looked round the company with a vacant stare, 
and ascertained that there was no one who could vie with her in 
splendour, she resignedly took his arm, and the ball-room door being 
at length thrown open, she sailed up to the top of the room, followed 
by countless sky-blue coated and canary-legged gentry, escorting 
their wives, daughters, or partners, with here and there a naval or 
military uniform mingling among the gay throng of sportmen and 
variously clad visitors. Most brilliant was the scene ! The room 
was a perfect blaze of light, and luckless were the wearers of second- 
hand shoes or ball-stained gloves. There was Dennis O'Brian, tower- 
ing over the head of everybody else, with his luxuriant whiskers 
projecting from his cheeks, like cherub's wings on church corners, 
with an open shirt collar, confined by a simple blue ribbon, and a 
superabundant display of silk stocking and calf from below his well- 
filled canary-coloured shorts, — for smalls would be a libel on the articles 
that held his middle man. His dark eyes sparkled with vivacity and 
keenness — not the keenness of pleasure, but the keenness of plunder, 
for Dennis had dined ofi° chicken broth and lemonade to be ready to 

" Cut the light pack or call the rattling main," 

as occasion might offer towards the morning. Snorem, too, had 
decked himself out in the uniform of the hunt, and this being his usual 
bed- time, he walked about the room like a man in a dream, or a tired 
dog looking where to lie down. Then there was Eomeo Simpkins, 
who had just arrived by the last Lily-white-sand train, and had all 
his friends and acquaintances to greet, and to admire his own legs 
for the first time protruding through a pair of buff shorts. Fleeceall 
Btood conspicious with a blue patch on his eye, pointing out his new 
friends to his wife, who was lost in admiration at the smartness of 






llflfl. 







CAPTAIN DOLEFUL. "PLACES FOR A COUNTRY DANCE. 



OR, MR. JORROCKS'S HUNT. 3*> 

her spouse, and her own ingenuity in applying the rose-coloured 
lining of an old bonnet to the laps of his sky-blue coat. 

Now the music strikes up in full chorus, and Doleful walks about 
the room, clapping his hands like a farmer's boy frightening crow?, to 
get the company to take their places in a country dance ; and Mrs. 
Barnington, having stationed herself at the top, very complacently 
leads off with " hands across, down the middle, and up again," with 
Stepnen Dumpling, who foots it away to the utmost of his ability, 
followed by Round-the-corner Smith with her niece, Barnington with 
Miss Somebody-else, Romeo Simpkins, with Miss Trollope, Dennis 
O'Brian, who looks like a capering light-house, with little old Miss 
Mordecai, the rich money-lender's daughter, and some thirty or forty 
couples after them. Mrs. Barnington's train being inconvenient for 
dancing, and having been twice trodden upon, upon reaching the 
bottom on the third time down the middle, she very coolly takes 
Dumpling's arm, and walks off to the sofa in the bay window, where, 
having deposited herself, she dispatches Dumpling to desire her 
husband not to exert himself too much, and to come to her the 
moment the dance is done. The country dance being at length 
finished, a quadrille quickly followed ; after which came a waltz, then 
a gallop, theu another quadrille, then another waltz, then a reel ; until 
the jaded musicians began to repent having been so anxious for the 
Btart. 

Towards one o'clock, the supper-room door was heard to close with 
a gentle flap, and Doleful was seen stealing out, with a self-satisfied 
grin on his countenance, and immediately to proceed round the room, 
informing such of the company as he was acquainted with, from 
having seen their names in his subscription book at the library, that 
the next would be the " supper dance ; " a dance that all persons who 
have "serious intentions" avail themselves of, for the interesting 
purpose of seeing each other eat. Accordingly Dennis O'Brian went 
striding about the ball-room in search of little Miss Mordecai ; 
Captain Doleful usurped Stephen Dumpling's place with Mrs. 
Barnington ; Round-the-corner Smith started after the niece, and 
each man invested his person, in the way of a " pair-off," to the best 
of his ability. Barnington was under orders for Dowager Lady 
Turnabout, who toadied Mrs. Barnington, and got divers dinners and 
pineapples for her trouble ; and Stephen Dumpling, being now fairly 
" let into the thing," was left to lug in the two Miss Dobbses on on? 
arm, and old mother Dobbs on the other. 

The simple-minded couples then stand up to dance, and as soon as 
the quadrilles are in full activity, Doleful offers his arm to Mrs. 
Barnington and proceeds into the supper-room, followed by all the 
knowing ones in waiting. But what a splendid supper it is ! A 
cross table with two long ones down the centre, all set out with 
turkeys, chickens, hams, tongues, lobster salads, spun sugar pyramids, 
towers, temples, grottoes, jellies, tarts, creams, custards, pineapples, 



3C HANDLE? CROSS; 

grapes, peaches, nectarines, ices, plovers' eggs, prawns, and four-and- 
twenty sponge-cake foxes, with blue, red, and canary-coloured rosettea 
for tags to their brushes ! Green bottles with card labels, and 
champagne bottles without labels, with sherry, &c, are placed at 
proper intervals down the table, — the champagne yielding a stronger 
crop upon the more fruitful soil of the cross table. Who ordered it, 
nobody knows, but there it is, and it is no time for asking. 

Shortly after the first detachment have got comfortably settled in 
their places, the music stops, and the dancers come crowding in with 
their panting partners, all anxious for lemonade or anything better. 
Then plates, knives, and forks are in request ; the " far gone " ones 
eating with the same fork or spoon, those only " half gone " content- 
ing themselves with using one plate. Barnington is in the chair at 
the cross table, with a fine sporting device of a fox, that looks very 
like a wolf, at his back, on a white ground with " Floreat Scientia" on 
a scroll below, the whole tastefully decorated with ribbons and 
rosettes. Dumpling and Smith are Vice-Presidents. Hark to the 
clatter ! " Miss Thompson, some turkey ? allow me to send you a 
little ham with it ? " " Mrs. Jenkins, here's a delicious lobster 
salad." "Now, Fanny, my dear, see you're dropping the preserve 
over your dress ! " " Oh dear ! there goes my knife ! " " Never 
mind, ma'am, I'll get you another." " Waiter ! bring a clean glass 
— two of them ! " " What will you take ? " " Champagne, if you 
please." "Delightful ball, isn't it?" "How's your sister?" 
" Who'll take some pineapple punch ? " "I will, with pleasure." 
" I've burst my sandal, and my shoe will come off." " Dear, that 
great awkward man has knocked the comb out of my head." " Go to 
see the hounds in the morning!" "Susan, mind, there's mamma 
looking." " Waiter ! get me some jelly." "Bachelors' balls always 
the pleasantest." "Barnington is married." "Oh, he's nooody!" 
"Dumpling does it and stuttering Smith, there's no Mister Barnington." 
" There's the captain — I wonder if he sees us." " Oh the stoopid ! he 
won't look this way. Should like to break his provoking head ! " 
" How's your horse ? Has it learned to canter ? " " Take some 
tongue." " Champagne, if you please." 

Thus went the rattle, prattle, jabber, and tattle, until Mr. 
Barnington, who had long been looking very uneasy, being unable to 
bear the further frowns of his wife, at length rose from his seat for the 
most awful of all purposes, that of monopolising all the noise of the 
room,— a moment that can only be appreciated Dy those who have 
filled the unhappy situation of chairman in a company of ladies and 
gentlemen, when every eye is pointed at the unfortunate victim, 
and all ears are open to catch and criticise what he says. 
" Barnington ! Barnington ! chair ! chair ! order ! order ! silence ! " 
cried a hundred voices, in the midst of which Mr. Barnington tried 
to steal away with his speech, but had to " whip back " and 'bagin 
asrain. 



OR, MR. JORROCKS'S HUNT. 37 

" Gentlemen and ladies (order ! order !), I mean to say, Mr. Vice- 
Presidents, ladies, and gentleman (hear, hear), I beg to propose the 
health of the Queen — I mean to say, the ladies who have honoured 
us with their presence this evening." Great applause, and every man 
drank to his sweetheart. 

Mrs. Barnington looked unutterable things at her spouse as he sat 
down, for women are all orators or judges of oratory, and well poor 
Barnington knew the vigour of her eloquence. Beckoning Doleful 
to her side, she desired him to tell Barnington not to look so like a 
sheepish schoolboy, but to hold himself straight, and speak out as if 
he were somebody. This Doleful interpreted into a handsome com- 
pliment, which so elated our unfortunate, that he immediately plucked 
up courage, and rising again, gave the table a hearty thump, and 
begged the company would fill a bumper to the health of the strangers 
who had honoured the Handley Cross hunt ball with their company. 
The strangers then began fidgetting and looking out an orator among 
themselves, but were put out of suspense by the rising of Dennis 
O'Brian, who returned thanks in one of his usual felicitous and 
appropriate speeches, and concluded by proposing the health of the 
chairman. Barnington was again on his legs, thanking them and 
giving " Success to fox-hunting," which was acknowledged by 
Snorem, who, being half asleep, mistook it for the time when he had 
to propose the healths of Smith and Dumpling, to whom he paid 
such lengthy compliments that the ladies cut him short by leaving 
the room. All restraint now being removed, the gentlemen crowded 
up to the cross table, when those who had been laying back for 
supper until they got rid of the women, went at it with vigorous 
determination, — corks flew, dishes disappeared, song, speech, and 
sentiment, were huddled in together, and in a very short time the 
majority of the company were surprised to find themselves amazingly 



38 



HAND LEY CROSS; 



CHAPTEK V. 



^ 



THE HUNT COMMITTEE. 
" It is our opening day." 

ANDLBY CROSS had a 
very debauched look the 
morning after the hunt 
ball. The Ongar Rooms 
being lighted with windows 
round the top, with covered 
galleries outside, for the 
accommodation of millin- 
ers, ladies' maids, and such 
as wish to criticise their 
masters and mistresses, 
had no protecting blinds ; 
and a strong party having 
settled themselves into 
" threesome " reels — the 
gentlemen for the purpose 
of dancing themselves 
sober, the ladies, like 
Goldsmith's clown, to try 
and tire out the orchestra 
— the ball seemed well 
appearance of day-light in the 
room made the wax lights look foolish, and caused all the old 
chaperons to rush to their charges and hurry them off, before bright 
Phoebus exposed the forced complexions of the night. All then was 
hurry-skurry ; carriages were called up, and hurried off as though the 
plague had broken out, and Johns and Jehus were astonished at the 
bustle of their " mississes." 

The last fly at length drove off ; the variegated lamps round the 
festooned porch began glimmering and dying in succession, as Doleful 
and the remaining gentlemen stood bowing, grinning, and kissing 
their hands to their departing partners, while their blue coats and 
canary-coloured shorts exhibited every variety of shade and complexion 
that the colours are capable of. DolefuTs hair, too, assumed a 
vermilion hue. The town was clear, bright, and tranquil ; no sound 
disturbed the quiet streets, and there was a balmy freshness in the 
morning air that breathed gratefully on the leverish frames of the 
heated dancers. The cock, " the trumpet of the morn," had just 
given his opening crow, in farmer Haycock's yard behind the rooms, 
and the tinkling bells of the oxen's yoke came softened on the air 
like the echoing cymbals of the orchestra. 




THE MORNING AFTER. 



calculated to last for ever, when the 



0R y MR. JORROCKS'S HUNT. 39 

St. George's chapel clock strikes ! Its clear silvery notes fall full 
upon the listeners' ears. " One ! two ! three ! four ! five ! six ! — 
eix o'clock ! " and youths say it is not worth while going to bed, 
while men of sense set off without a doubt on the matter. Some few 
return to the supper-room to share the ends of champagne bottles and 
lobster salads with the waiters. 

Morning brought no rest to the jaded horses and helpers of the 
town. No sooner were the Rosinantes released from the harness of 
the flys, than they were led to the stable-doors and wisped and cleaned 
in a manner that plainly showed it was for coming service, and not 
for that performed. Bill Gibbon, the club-footed ostler of the " Swan 
Hotel and Livery Stables," had eight dirty fly-horses to polish into 
hunters before eleven o'clock, and Tom Turnbinn, and his deaf-and- 
dumb boy, had seven hunters and two flys ordered for the same hour. 
There was not a horse of any description but what was ordered for 
the coming day, and the donkeys were bespoke three deep. 

If Duncan Nevin had had a dozen Bull-dogs and Son tags, they 
would all have been engaged, and on his own terms too. 

" Oh, sir ! " he would say to inquirers, " that Bull-dog's a smart 
horse — far too good for our work — he should be in a gentleman's 
stable — Did you ever see a horse so like the field, now ? I'm only 
axin thirty pound for him, and it's really givin' of him away — I 
couldn't let him go out under two guineas a day, and then only with 
a very careful rider, like yourself. Cost me near what I ax for him, 
in the summer, and have had to put him into condition myself. 
Oats is very dear, I assure you. Perhaps you'd have the kindness 
not to say that he's hired, and save me the duty ? " 

A little before eleven the bustle commenced ; the first thing seen 
was Peter leaving the kennel with the hounds, Abelard, the black 
poodle, and "Mr. Fleeceall," the white terrior with a black eye. 
reter was dressed in a new scarlet frock coat with a sky-blue collar, 
buff striped toilanette waistcoat, black cap, new leathers and boots. 
His whip, spurs, gloves, bridle, and saddle were also new, and he was 
riding a new white horse. Barnington's groom followed, similarly 
attired ; and this being his first appearance in the character of a 
whipper-in, he acted fully up to the designation by flopping and 
cracking the hounds with his whip, and crying " Co'p, co'p, hounds ; 
— Go on, hounds — go on! — Drop it! — Leave it! — To him, to him!" 
and making sundry other orthodox noises. 

Lamp-black was that morning in great request. Broken knees, 
collar, and crupper marks had to be effaced, and some required a 
touch of lamp-black on their heads, where they had knocked the hair 
off in their falls The saddling and bridling were unique ! No 
matter what sort of a mouth the horse had, the first bridle that came 
to hand was put into it. 

Stephen Dumpling's horse, having travelled from home, was the first 
&(. the regulars to make his appearance in the street. He was a great, 



40 HAND LEY CROSS; 

raking, sixteen hands chestnut, with " white stockings/' and a bang 
tail down to the hocks. He was decorated with a new bridle with a 
blue silk front, and a new saddle with a hunting-horn. Stephen's 
lad, dressed in an old blue dress-coat of his master's, with a blue and 
white striped livery waistcoat, top-boots, and drab cords, and having 
a cockade in his hat, kept walking the horse up and down before the 
Dragon Hotel, while Stephen, with a feverish pulse and aching head, 
kept sipping his coffee, endeavouring to make himself believe he was 
eating his breakfast. At last he lighted a cigar, and appeared, whip 
in hand, under the arched gateway. He had on a new scarlet coat 
with a blue collar, the same old red-ended . neck-cloth he had worn at 
the ball, and an infinity of studs down an ill-fitting, badly-washed 
shirt, a buff waistcoat, and a pair of make-believe leathers — a sort of 
white flannel, that after the roughings of many washings give gentle- 
men the appearance of hunting in their drawers. His boots had not 
been " put straight " after the crumpling and creasing they had got 
in his " bags ; " consequently there were divers patches of blacking 
transferred to the tops, while sundry scrapings of putty, or of some 
other white and greasy matter, appeared on the legs. Independently 
of this, the tops retained lively evidence of their recent scouring 
in the shape of sundry up and down strokes, like the first coat of 
white-washing, or what house-painters call "priming" on a new door 

Dumpling's appearance in the street was the signal for many who 
were still at their breakfasts to bolt the last bits of muffin, drink up 
their tea, and straddle into the passage to look for hats, gloves, and 
whips. Doors opened, and sportsmen emerged from every house. 
Round-the-corner Smith's roan mare, with a hunting horn at the 
saddle-bow, had been making the turn of Hookem's library for ten 
minutes and more ; and the stud of Lieutenant Wheeler, the flash 
riding-master — seven " perfect broke horses for road or field," with 
two unrivalled ponies — had passed the Dragon for the eight Miss 
Mercers, and their brother Tom to go out upon to " see the hounds." 
Then sorry steeds, with sorrier equipments, in the charge of very 
sorry-looking servants, paced up and down High Street, Paradise 
Row, and the Crescent ; and a yellow fly, No. 34, with red wheels, 
drove oif with Dumpling's nondescript servant on the box, and the 
three Miss Dobbses, and Mother Dobbs, in scarlet silk pelisses, with 
sky-blue ribbons and handkerchiefs, inside. Jaded young ladies, 
whose looks belie their assertions, assure their mammas that they are 
not in the " least tired," step into flys and drive away through High 
Street, kissing their hands, bowing and smiling, right and left, as 
they go. 

Abel Snorem, having purchased a pair of new top-boots, appears 
m the sky-blue coat, lined with pink silk, and the canary-coloured 
shorts of the previous evening, looking very much like a high-sheriff's 
horse foot-man going out to meet the judges. Not meaning to risk 
his ueck, although booted, he makes the fourth in a fly with Mr. arid 



OR, MR. J0RR0CKW8 HUNT. 41 

Miss Mordecai, and fat old Mr. Guzzle, who goes from watering-place 
to watering-place, trying the comparative merits of the waters in re- 
storing appetite after substantial meals : he looks the picture of 
health and apoplexy. Mrs. Barnington's dashing yellow barouche 
comes hurrying down the street, the bays bearing away from the 
pole, and the coachman's elbows sticking out in a corresponding 
Form. Of course all the flys, horses, and passengers that are not 
desirous of being driven over by "John Thomas," the London 
coachman, are obliged to get out of the way as fast as they can, and 
he pulls up with a jerk, as though he had discovered the house all of 
a sudden. Out rush two powdered flunkeys in red plush breeches, 
pink silk stockings, and blue coatees, when, finding it is only their 
own carriage, a dialogue ensues between them and Mr. Coachman, as 
the latter lounges over the box and keeps flanking his horses to make 
them stand out and show themselves. 

A few minutes elapse, and out comes the portly butler, with a 
" Now then ! Missis coming down ! " whereupon the Johnnies rush 
to their silver-laced hats on the hall table, seize their gold-headed 
canes, pull their white Berlins out of their pockets, and take a posi- 
tion on each side of the barouche door. Mrs. Barnington sails 
majestically down stairs, dressed in a sky-blue satin pelisse, with a 
sky-blue bonnet, lined with pink, and a splendid white feather, tipped 
with pink, waving gracefully over her left shoulder. She is followed 
by Barnington and Doleful, the former carrying her shawl and reticule 
in one hand, and his own hunting-whip in the other. Barnington, 
as usual, is well-dressed, having on a neat-fitting, single-breasted 
scarlet coat, with a blue collar, and rich gilt buttons, sky-blue cravat, 
canary-coloured waistcoat, well-cleaned leathers and gloves, and ex- 
quisitely polished boots, with very bright spurs. Doleful, who is rather 
in disgrace, for having introduced a partner to one of the three Miss 
Dobbses over night, and has just had a wigging for his trouble, 
sneaks behind, attired in a costume that would have astonished Tom 
Rounding himself, at the Epping Hunt. It consists of an old militia 
coat, denuded of its facings and trappings, made into a single- 
breasted hunting coat, but, for want of cloth, the laps are lined, as 
well as the collar covered, with blue : his waistcoat is pea-green, im- 
parting a most cadaverous hue to his melancholy countenance, and 
he has got on a pair of old white moleskin breeches, sadly darned and 
cracked at the knees, Hessian boots, with large tassels, and black 
heel spurs. He carries his hat in one hand, and a black gold-headed 
opera cane in the other, and looks very like an itinerant conjuror. 
"What strange creatures fine women sometimes fancy I 

Mrs. Barnington steps listlessly into the carriage, throws herself 
upon the back seat, while Barnington and Doleful deposit themselves 
on the front one ; the door is shut with a bang, the " Johnnies " 
jump up behind, "whit" cries the coachman to his horses, off they 
go, the fat butler, having followed them up the High Street with his 



42 HANDLE Y CBOSS; 

eyes, closes the door, and away they bowl at the rate of twelve miles 
an hour, round the Crescent, through Jireth Place, Ebenezer Eow, 
Apollo Terrace, past the Archery Ground, and Mr. Jackson's public 
gardens, and along the Appledove Road, as far as the Mount Sion 
turnpike-gate — leaving pedestrians, horsemen, and vehicles of every 
kind immeasurably in the distance. 

At the gate a crowd is assembled — Jones Deans, the " pikeman," 
has wisely closed the bar, and " No trust " stands conspicuously 
across the road. As the carriage approaches, it is thrown wide open. 
Off goes Jones's hat ; Mrs. Jones Deans drops a hasty curtsey, that 
almost brings her knees in contact with the ground ; and the little 
urchins on the rails burst into an involuntary huzza. John Thomas 
cuts on, and turns at a canter into the grass-field on the left of the 
road, where poor Peter has been walking his hounds about for the 
last hour or more. What a crowd ! Grooms of every description, 
with horses of every cut and character, moving up and down, and 
across and around the field ; some to get their horses' coats down, 
others to get their legs down, a few to get their horses' courage down, 
others to try and get them up : some because they see others do it, 
and others because they have nothing else to do. 

There are thirteen fiys full of the young ladies from Miss Prim's 
and Miss Prosy's opposition seminaries, the former in sky-blue 
ginghams, the latter in pink ; Mrs. Fleeceall driven by her dear 
Fleecy with a new hunting whip, in a double-bodied one-horse " chay " 
with four little Fleecealls stuck in behind ; Mr. Davey, the new 
apothecary, with his old wife, in a yellow dennet drawn by a white 
cart mare ; Mr. and Mrs. Hookem of the library, in Jasper Green the 
donkey driver's best ass-cart ; farmer Joltem in his untaxed gig, with 
his name, abode, and occupation painted conspicuously behind ; old 
Tim Rickets, the furniture-broker, in a green garden-chair drawn by 
a donkey ; the post-man on a mule ; Boltem, the billiard table-keeper, 
and Snooks his marker, in an ass phaeton ; Donald McGrath, 
" Squire Arnold's " Scotch gardener, on " Master George's pony ; " 
and Sam Finch, the keeper, and Thomas, the coachman, on the 
carriage horses. 

Enveloped in a large dirty old Macintosh, in a single-horse fly, 
with a dirty apology for a postilion on the animal, with hands stuffed 
into his front pockets, and a hunting whip peeping above his knees, 
the mighty Dennis O'Brian wends his way to the meet, his brain still 
swimming with the effects of the last night's champagne. As he 
diverges from the road into the grass-field, he takes his hunting whip 
from its place, loosens the thong, and proceeding to flagellate both 
"ider and horse, dashes into the crowd in what he considers quite a 
* bang-up way." " Now, Peter, my boy ! " he roars at the top of his 
voice, as standing erect in the vehicle he proceeds to divest himself 
of his elegant " wraprascal," " be after showing us a run ; for by the 
friper that played before Moses, I feel as if I could take St. Peter'* 



OR, MB. JOBROCKS'S HUNT, 



43 



itself in my stride. — Och blood and 'ounds ! ye young spalpeen, but 
you've been after giving that horse a gallop, — he's sweating about 
the ears already," he exclaims to a little charity-school boy, whom 
the livery-stable keeper has despatched with a horse Dennis has hired 
for the " sason," warranted to hunt four days a week or oftener, and 




DOLEFUL BEGINS TO FEEL UNEASY. 



mee'd, spavined bay, with 
Be after jumping off, ye 



hack all the rest — a raw-boned, broken- 
some very going points about him. 
vagabond, or I'll bate you into a powder.' 

Romeo Simpkins then comes tip-tup-ing up on a long-tailed dun, 
with a crupper to the saddle, surrounded by the four Miss Merrygoes, 
all ringlets and teeth, and the two Miss Millers, all forehead and 
cheeks, — the cavalcade mounted by the opposition riding-master, Mr. 
Higgs, who follows the group at a respectful distance to see that they 



H HANDLEY CMOSS ; 

do not take too much out of the nags, and to minute their ride by 
his watch.* Borneo is in ecstasies ! He has got on an ill-made, 
cream-bowl-looking cap, with a flourishing ribbon behind, a very 
light-coloured coat, inclining more to pink than scarlet, made of 
ladies' habit-cloth, a yellow neckcloth, his white waistcoat of the 
previous evening, and very thin white cord breeches that show his 
garters, stocking tops, and every wrinkle in his drawers ; added to 
which, after a fashion of his own, his boots are secured to his breeches 
by at least half a dozen buttons, and straps round the leg. The 
ladies think Romeo " quite a dear " and Eomeo is of the same 
opinion. 

" Now, Barnington, don't ride like a fool and break your neck," 
says the amiable Mrs. Barnington to her sapient spouse, as he begins 
to fidget and stir in the carriage, as the groom passes and repasses 
with a fine brown horse in tip-top condition, and a horn at the 
saddle ; a request that was conveyed in a tone that implied, " I hope 
you may with all my heart." Then turning to Doleful, who was 
beginning to look very uneasy as mounting time approached, she 
added, in a forgiving tone, " Now, my deal' Captain, don't let Bar- 
nington lead you into mischief ; he's a desperate rider, I know, but 
there's no occasion for you to follow him over everything he chooses 
to ride at." 

Mrs. Barnington might have spared herself the injunction, for 
Doleful's horse was a perfect antidote to any extravagance ; a more 
perfect picture of wretchedness was never seen. It was a long, lean, 
hide-bound, ewe-necked, one-eyed, roan Rosinante, down of a hip, 
collar-marked, and crupper-marked, with conspicuous splints on each 
leg, and desperately broken-kneed. The saddle was an old military 
brass-cantrelled one, with hair girths, rings behind, and a piece of 
dirty old green carpet for a saddle-cloth. The bridle was a rusty 
Pelham, without the chain, ornamented with a dirty faded yellow- 
worsted front, and strong, cracked, weather-bleached reins, swelled 
into the thickness of moderate traces — with the head-stall ends 
flapping and flying about in all directions, and the choak-band secured 
by a piece of twine in lieu of a buckle. The stirrups were of unequal 
lengths, but this could not be helped, for they were the last pair in 
Handley Cross ; and Doleful, after a survey of the whole, mounts 
and sticks his feet into the rusty irons, with a self-satisfied grin on 
his spectral face, without discovering their inequality. 

" Keep a good hold of her mouth, sir," says the fly-man groom, 
whose property she is, gathering up the reins, and placing them in a 
bunch in Doleful's hands ; " keep a good hold of her head, sir," he 
repeats, an exhortation that was not given without due cause, for no 
sooner did the mare find herself released from her keeper, than down 

* At most watering-places " unfortunates " are let out by the hour — half-*- 
crown an hour for a three-legged one ; three shillings for a horse that has four. 



OR, MR. JORROCKS'S HUNT. 46 

went her head, up went her heels, off went the captain's hat, out flew 
the militia coat laps, down went the black gold-headed cane, and the 
old mare ran wheel-barrow fashion about the field, kicking, jumping, 
and neighing to the exquisite delight of the thirteen fly-fulls of pink 
and blue young ladies from Miss Prim's and Miss Prosy's opposition 
seminaries, the infinite satisfaction of Mrs. Fleeceall, whom Doleful 
had snubbed, and to the exceeding mirth of the whole field. 

" Help him ! save him ! " screams Mrs Barnington, with clasped 
hands and uplifted eyes, as the old mare tears past the barouche with 
her heels in the air, and the loose riding M. C. sitting like the 
" Drunken Hussar " at the Circus, unconsciously digging her with 
his black heel-spurs as sne goes. " Oh heavens ! will nobody save 
him ? " she exclaims ; and thereupon the two powdered footmen, 
half dying with laughter, slip down from behind, and commence a 
pursuit, and succeed in catching the mare just as she had got the 
Master of the Ceremonies fairly on her shoulders, and when another 
kick would have sent him over her head. Meanwhile Mrs. Barning- 
ton faints. Fans, water, salts, vinegar, all sorts of things, are called 
in requisition, as may be supposed, when the queen of Handley Cross 
is taken ill ; nothing but a recommendation from the new doctor 
that her stays should be cut, could possibly have revived her. 

Peace is at length restored. Doleful, sorely damaged by the brass 
cantrel and the pommel, is taken from the " old kicking mare," as 
she was called at the stable, and placed alongside the expiring Mrs, 
Barnington in the carriage, and having had enough of hunting, Mr. 
John Thomas is ordered to drive home immediately. 

Whereupon Peter takes out his watch and finds it exactly five 
minutes to one, the hour that he used to be laying the cloth for 
Michael Hardey's dinner, after having killed his fox and got his 
horses done up. Barnington having seen his wife fairly out of sight, 
appears a new man, and mounting his brown hunter takes his horn 
out of the case, knocks it against his thigh, gives his whip a flourish, 
and trots up to the pack, with one foot dangling against the stirrup 
iron. 

Peter salutes him with a touch of his cap, his groom whipper-in 
scrapes his against the skies ; and Barnington, with a nod, asks 
Peter what they shall draw ? " Hazleby Hanger, I was thinking, 
sir," replied Peter with another touch ; " the keeper says he saw a 
fox go in there this morning, and it's very nice lying." — "Well 
then, let us be going," replies Barnington, looking around the field, 
— " No ! " roars Stephen Dumpling, taking a cigar from his mouth { 
" Hoppas Hays is the place ; the wind's westerly," — wetting hie 
finger on his tongue, and holding it up to the air, — " and if we cat 
force him through Badger Wood and Shortmead, he will give us a 
rare burst over Langley Downs, and away to the sea." — * Well, what 
you please, gentlemen," replies Peter ; " only we have not much time 
to lose, for the days are short, and my fellow servant here doesn't 

E 2 



46 HAND LEY CROSS; 

know the country ; besides which we have five couple of young 
hounds out." — " 1 say Hazleby Hanger," replies Barnington with a 
frown on his brow, for he was unused to contradiction from any one 
but his wife. "I my Hoppas Hays," replies Dumpling loudly, with 
an irate look, and giving his boot an authoritative bang with his 
whip. — " Well, gentlemen, which ever you please," says Peter, looking 
confused. — " Then go to Hazleby Hanger," responds Barnington. 
" Hoppas Hays ! " exclaims Dumpling ; " mind, Peter, Pm your 
master." — " No more than myself," replies Barnington, " and I find 
the whipper-in." — " Where's Smith ? " shouts Dennis O'Brian, work- 
ing his way into the crowd, with his coat-pockets sticking out 
beyond the cantrel of his saddle, like a poor man's dinner wallet. 
u Here ! here ! here ! " responded half a dozen voices from horses, 
gigs, and flys. 

" No, Round-the-corner Smith I mean," replies O'Brian. " Yonder 
he is by the cow-shed in the corner of the field ; " and Smith is seen 
in the distance in the act of exchanging his hack for his hunter. 
He comes cantering up the field, feeling his horse as he goes, and on 
being holloaed to by some score of voices or more, pulls short round 
and enters the crowd at a trot. " What shall we draw first, Smith ? M 
inquires Mr. Barnington; "I propose Hazleby Hanger." "I say 
Hoppas Hays," rejoins Dumpling. — " Ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-zleby Ha-ha- 
hanger, or Ho-ho-ho-ho-hoppas Ha-ha-ha-ha-hays ! I should think 
Fa-fa-fa-farley Pa-pa-pasture better than either." " Well then, let 
us draw lots," replied Dennis O'Brian, " for it's not right keeping 
gentlemen and men of fortune waiting in this way. By the great 
gun of Athlone, but the Ballyshannon dogs, kept by Mr. Trodden- 
nick, would find and kill a fox in less time than you take in chaffing 
about where you'll draw for one. See now," added he, pulling an old 
Racing Calendar out of his capacious pocket, and tearing a piece into 
slips, " here are three bits of paper ; the longest is for Hazleby 
Hanger, the middle one is Hoppas Hays, and the short one shall be 
Farley Pasture, and Peter shall draw ; " whereupon Dennis worked 
his way through the crowd, advanced into the middle of the pack, 
and just as Peter drew a slip, Dennis's spavined steeple-chaser gave 
Abelard, the French poodle, such a crack on the skull as killed him 
on the spot. The field is again in commotion, two-thirds of the 
young ladies in pink ginghams burst into tears, while one of the sky- 
blue pupils faints, and a second is thrown into convulsions and burst 
her stays with the noise of a well-charged two-penny cracker. 
" Who-hoop ! " cries Dennis O'Brian, " here's blood already I " jump- 
ing off his horse and holding the expiring animal in mid air ; " Who- 
hoop, my boys, but we've begun the season gallantly ! killed a lion 
instead of a fox ! " and thereupon he threw the dead dog upon the 
ground amid the laughter of a few pedestrians, and the general 
execration of the carriage company. 

We need not say that the sport of the ladies was over for the day. 







THE MASTER OF THE CEREMONIES MOUNTED, 



OB, MB. JO BROOKS'S HUNT. 47 

There lay poor Abelard, the only dog in the pack they realty 
admired ; whose freaks and gambols, in return for buns and queen- 
cakes, had often beguiled the weariness of their brother's kennel 
lectures. The sparkling eye, that watched each movement of the 
hand, was glazed in death, and the flowing luxuriance of his well- 
combed mane and locks clotted with gory blood — Alas, poor Abelard ! 

" Oh name for ever sad I for ever dear I 
Still breathed in sighs, still ushered with a tear." 

The hounds alone seemed unconcerned at his fate, and walked 
about and smelt at him as though they hardly owned his acquaint- 
ance, when " Mr. Fleeceall," the white terrier with the black patch 
on his eye, having taken him by the ear, with the apparent intention 
of drawing him about the field, Miss Prim most theatrically begged 
the body, which was forthwith transferred to the bottom of her fly, to 
the unutterable chagrin of Miss Prosy, who was on the point of sup- 
plicating for it herself, and had just arranged a most touching speech 
for the occasion. Eyes were now ordered to be dried, and the young 
ladies were forthwith got into marching order. Pink ginghams 
wheeled off first ; and when they got home, those that did not cry 
before were whipped, and made to cry after ; while the sky-blue 
young ladies had a page of Sterne's Sentimental Journey, commenc- 
ing " Dear sensibility ! source unexhausted of all that's precious in 
our joys or costly in our sorrows ! " &c, to learn by heart, to make 
them more feeling in future. 

The field, reduced one-half, at two o'clock set off for Farley 
Pasture ; the procession consists of five flys, twenty-three horsemen, 
four gig-men, and a string of thirteen donkeys, some carrying 
double, and others with panniers full of little folk. 

Dumpling and Barnington look unamiable things at each other, 
but neither having carried his point, they ride along the sandy lane 
that leads to the cover in pouting sullenness. The cavalcade rides 
the hill that commands the cover in every quarter, where Peter and 
the pack wait until the long-drawn file have settled themselves to 
their liking. The cover is an unenclosed straggling gorse of about 
three or four acres in extent, rising the hill from a somewhat dense 
patch of underwood, bounded on the east by a few weather-beaten 
Scotch firs ; the country around being chiefly grass-fields of good 
dimensions. Dumpling canters round the cover, and takes a position 
among the firs, while Barnington plants himself immediately 
opposite ; and Smith, determined not to be outdone in importance, 
establishes himself to the south. "Yooi in there ! " cries Peter at last 
with a wave of his cap, his venerable grey hair floating on the breeze ; 
" yooi in there, my beauties ! " and the old hounds, at the sound of his 
cheery voice, dash into the gorse and traverse every patch and corner 
«¥iih eagerness : " Have at him there ! " cries Peter, as Belinaid, a 



48 HANDLE Y CROSS; 

beautiful pied bitch, feathers round a patch of gorse near a few 
stunted birch and oak trees : " have at him there, my beauty ! " — 
" yooi, wind him ! " " yooi push him ! " 

" Talli-ho ! " cries Abel Snorem, in a loud, deep, sonorous voice 
from his fly, rubbing his eyes with one hand and raising his hat in 
the air with the other ; " talli ho ! yonder he goes." "It's a hare ! " 
exclaims Peter ; " it's a hare ! pray hold your tongue, sir ! pray 
do ! " — It is too late ! the mischief is done. Three couple of young 
hounds that did not like the gorse, having caught view, dash after 
her ; and puss's screams at the corner of the ploughed field are 
drowned in the horns of the masters, who commenced the most dis- 
cordant toothings, puffings, and blowings, as soon as Abel Snorem'a 
talli-ho was heard. Meanwhile the whipper-in has worked his way 
xmnd to the delinquents, and, jumping off his horse, seizes the hind 
quarters of puss, whereupon Vigilant seizes him a posteriori in 
return, and makes him bellow like a bull. The masters canter 
round, the field rush to the spot, and all again is hubbub and con- 
fusion. " Lay it into them ! " exclaims Barnington to his groom 
whipper-in ; " cut them to ribbons, the riotous brutes ! " " Don't !" 
interposes Dumpling, "I worCt have the hounds flogged;" where- 
upon the ladies laud his feeling, and mutter something that sounds 
very like " Barnington and brute." Just as stuttering Smith is in 
the midst of a long string of stammers upon the question of corporeal 
punishment, a loud, clear, shrill talli-ho is heard proceeding from 
the neighbourhood of the fir trees, and Peter on the white horse is 
seen standing in his stirrups, cap in hand, halloaing his hounds away 
2o their fo?:. — " Hoic together, hoic ! " and the old hounds rush 
eagerly to the voice that has led them to a hundred glories. — 
" Yonder he goes by Mersham Hatch, and away for Downleigh- 
crag," exclaims a lad in a tree, and eyes are strained in the direction 
that he points. 

" Forrard away ! forrard." " Crack ! crack ! " go a score of whips ; 
" talli-ho ! " scream a dozen voices. " Away ! away ! away ! " 
holloas Peter, settling himself into his saddle. " Away ! away ! away ! " 
echoes the groom whipper-in, as he stands rubbing himself, debating 
whether to mount or go home to the doctor. Barnington races 
round the cover, Dumpling takes the opposite side, followed by 
Smith, and Dennis O'Brian shoves his spavined steed straight through 
the cover, and goes bounding over the high gorse like a boat off a 
rough shore. Romeo Simpkins and his tail trot after a fat old gentle- 
man on a black cob, dressed in a single-breasted green coat, with 
mahogany-coloured top-boots, and a broad-brimmed hat, who makea 
for Ashley Lane, from thence over Downley Hill, from whence there 
is a full view of the pack running like wildfire over the large grass 
enclosure near Ravensdeen village, with no one but Peter within a 
quarter of a mile of them. Away they speed ; and just as Peter's 
white horse looks like a pigeon in the distance, and the rest diminish 



OB, MM. JOBBOCKS'S HUNT. 49 

into black specs, a curve to the left brings them past Arthingworth 
clump, leaving the old tower on the right, and, skirting the side of 
Branston Wood, far in the distance they enter upon the tract of 
chalky land beyond. The old gentleman's eye catches fresh fire at 
the sight ; he takes off his low-crowned hat, and mops his bald head 
with a substantial snuff-coloured bandana, and again bumps off at a 
trot. He pounds along the lanes, turning first to the right then to 
the left ; now stopping to listen, now cutting through the backs of 
farm buildings, now following an almost imperceptible cart-track 
through a line of field-gates, until he gains Surrenden Lane, where he 
pulls up short and listens. " Hark ! " he exclaims, holding up his 
hand to Romeo and his female friends, who are giggling and tittering 
at the delightful canter they have had ; " hark ! " he repeats, in a 
somewhat louder voice. A. short sharp chirp is bo/ne on the breeze ; 
it is Heroine all but running mute. A deeper note follows, — another, 
and another, which gradually swell into chorus as the pack carry the 
scent across the fallow, and get upon turf nearer hand. The old 
gentleman is in ecstasies. He can hardly contain himself. He pulls 
his cob across the lane ; bis hat is in the air, no one views the fox 
but himself, the hounds pour into the lane ; a momentary check 
ensues. Villager speaks to it in the next field ; Dexterous has it too, 
— and Coroner, Harmony, Funny lass, and Ravenous join cry ! — they 
run the hedge-row — a snap and crack is heard just by the large asli- 
tree. " Whoo-whoop ! " holloas the old gentleman, putting his fingef 
in his ear, and Peter comes bounding over the fence, and is among 
his pack fighting for the fox. 

Then up come the field, the horses heaving, panting and blowing, 
all in a white lather, and the perspiration streaming off the red faces 
of riders. There has been a desperately jealous tustle between Bar- 
nington and Dumpling which should ride first ; and nothing but the 
badness of the start has prevented their being before the hounds. 
Dumpling has knocked in the crown of a new eight-and-sixpenny 
hat ; while a strong grower that he bore before him through a stiff 
bullfinch, returned with a switch across Barnington's nose, that 
knocked all the skin off the bridge. 

" I claim the brush ! " exclaimed Dumpling, still in the air. " No 
such thing ! " responds Barnington, as they land together in the deep 
lane, from the top of the high bank with a strongly pleached hedge 
on the top. " I say it's mine ! " "I say it isn't ! " "I say it is ! " 
" Peter, it's mine ! " " Peter, it isn't ! " " At your peril give it to 
him ! " " You give it to me, or I discharge you ! " 

" Well, gentlemen," replies Peter, laying the fox before him, 
" whichever way you please." " Then, give it me." " No, give it 
me." " Isn't it mine, sir ? " says Dumpling, appealing to the 
gentleman on the cob, " my horse touched ground first, and, accord- 
ing to all the laws of steeple-chasing that ever I've heard, or read of 
in 4 Bell's Life' or elsewhere, that's decisive." " I should say it waa 



50 HANDLEY CBOSS; 

Squire Hartley's," observed Peter, looking at the green-coated gentle- 
man on the cob. 

" Squire Hartley's ! " exclaim Dumpling and Barnington at the 
same moment ; " Squire Hartley's ! How can that be ? He's not 
even a member of the hunt, and doesn't give a farthing to it." " It 
was his cover we found in," replies Peter ; " and in old master's time 
we always gave the brush to whoever was first up." " First up! 
roars Dumpling, " why, he's never been out of a trot ! " " And 
ridden the road ! " adds Barnington. " What do we know about 
your old master ? " rejoins Dumpling, "he was a skirting, nicking, 
Macadamizing old screw." " He was a better sportsman than ever 
you will be," replied Peter, his eyes sparkling anger as he spoke. 
" Let us have none of your impertinence," replies Barnington, nettled 
at the disrespect towards a member of the committee ; " and let me 
advise you to remember that you hunt these hounds for the amuse- 
ment of your masters, and not for your own pleasure, and you had 
better take care how you steal away with your fox again as you did 
just now." " That he ha-ha-ha-had," exclaims Round-the-corner 
Smith, as he creeps down the side of the bank, holding by the 
pommel of his saddle, into the lane, after having ridden the line with 
great assiduity without seeing a bit of the run ; " I never saw such 
an impudent thing done in all the whole course of my li-li-li-life 
before." 

Poor Peter made no reply. An involuntary tear started into the 
corner of his eye, when, having broken up his fox, he called his 
hounds together and turned his horse's head towards home, at the 
thought of the change he had lived to see. Arrived at Handley 
Cross, he fed his hounds, dressed his horse, and then, paying a visit 
to each of his masters, respectfully resigned the situation of " hunts- 
man to the committee of management of the Handley Cross fox- 
hounds." 



CHAPTER VI. 

THE CLIMAX OF DISASTER. 



" A fellow feeling makes us wondrous kind," says the adage, and 
the present case was no exception to the rule. Our three masters, 
having slept on their visit from Peter, met the next morning, when 
all jealousies were merged in abuse of the huntsman. He was 
everything that was bad, and they unanimously resolved that they 
were extremely lucky in getting rid of him. " Anybody could hunt 
a pack of hounds," and the only difficulty they anticipated was the 
possibility of the groom-whipper-in not being sufficiently recovered 
from his bite from the hound to be able to take the field on the Friday, 
for which day the hounds were advertised to meet at Meddingley, 



OR, MR. JORROCKS'S HUNT. 51 

three miles down the vale, in the cream of their country. Barning- 
ton would have no difficulty in hunting them if any one would whip- 
in to him ; Dumpling was equally confident ; and Smith said he 
had no " he-he-he-he-si-tation about the matter." It was therefore 
arranged that each should lend a hand, and hunt, or turn the hounds, 
as occasion required, and let the world at large, and Peter in par 
ticular, see what little occasion they had for his services. Mean- 
while Beckford, Cook, Scrutator, and others, were perseveringly 
studied. 

Friday came, but like an old " Oaks day " it was very languid and 
feeble ; there was no polishing of hack hunters, no borrowing of 
bridles or lending of saddles, no bustle or hurry perceptible in the 
streets ; the water-drinkers flocked to the wells as usual, and none 
but the regulars took the field. Among the number was our old 
friend Squire Hartley on his black cob, attired in the same green 
coat, the same brown top-boots, and the same low-crowned hat as 
before. Snorem and Doleful came in a gig in the inspection style, 
and Dennis O'Brian smoked three cigars before any one looked at his 
watch to see how the time went. 

At length Squire Hartley ventured to inquire if there was any 
possibility of the servant having mistaken his way, whereupon it 
simultaneously occurred to the trio that there might be something 
wrong. Joe had orders to bring the hounds by an unfrequented lane, 
so as to avoid collecting foot people, and after another quarter of an 
hour spent in suspense, the field proceeded in the direction they 
ought to come. On rising a gentle eminence out of Sandyford Lane, 
a scarlet-coated man was seen in the distance standing in the middle 
of a ploughed field, and a fustian-coated horseman was galloping 
about it, endeavouring to turn the hounds to the former, but in con- 
sequence of riding at them instead of getting round them, he made 
the hounds fly in all directions. The cavalcade then pressed on, 
horns were drawn from their cases, and our three masters cantered 
into the field, puffing and blowing most unsatisfactory and discor- 
dant blasts. Joe then disclosed how the pack had broke away on 
winding a dead horse hard by, and how, after most ineffectual efforts 
to turn them, he had lent a countryman his horse and whip, while he 
stood in the field holloaing and coaxing them away. 

This feat being accomplished through the assistance of the field, 
the houndsr with somewhat distended sides, proceeded sluggishly to 
the cover. It was a long straggling gorse on a hill side, with a large 
quarry hole at the far end, which, from long disuse, had grown up 
with broom, furze, and brushwood. The hounds seemed very easy 
about the matter, and some laid down, while others stood gazing 
about the cover. At length our masters agreed that it was time to 
throw off, so they began, as they had seen Peter, with a whistle and a 
slight wave of the hand, thinking to see the pack rush in at the 
signal, — no such thing, however ; not » single hound moved a 



62 HANDLEY GROSS; 

muscle, and three or four of the young ones most audaciously sat 
down on the spot. The gentlemau on the black cob smiled. 

" Yooi over there ! " cried Barnington, taking off his hat and 
standing erect in the stirrups. 

" Yooi over there 1 get to cover, hounds, get to cover ! " screamed 
whipper-in Joe, commencing a most furious onset among the sitters, 
whereupon some jumped and others crept into cover and quietly laid 
themselves down for a nap. Five or six couples of old hounds, how- 
ever, that had not quite gorged themselves with horse flesh, worked 
the cover well ; and, as foxes abounded, it was not long before our 
friend on the cob saw one stealing away up the brook that girded the 
base of the hills, which, but for his eagle eye, would have got off 
unperceived. 

" Talli-ho ! " cried the old gentleman at last, taking off his hat on 
seeing him clear of the cover, and pointing southwards in the 
direction of Bibury Wood, a stronghold for foxes. 

" Talli-ho ! " responded Barnington without seeing him. " Talli- 
ho ! " re-echoed all the others without one having caught view ! and 
the old gentleman, putting the cob's head straight down the hill, slid 
and crawled down to the brook followed by the field. Here with 
much hooping, holloaing, and blowing of horns, a few couple of 
hounds were enticed from the cover, and being laid on to the scent, 
dribbled about like the tail of a paper kite, taking precedence accord- 
ing to their several degrees. First old Solomon, a great black and 
white hound, with a strong resemblance to a mugger's mastiff, gave a 
howl and a towl ; then Harmony chirped, and Manager gave a 
squeak, and old Solomon threw his tongue again, in a most leisurely 
and indifferent manner, causing some of the young hounds to peep 
over the furze bushes to see what was going on. 

The run, however, was of short continuance ; after crossing three 
grass-fields they came to a greasy fallow, across which the hounds 
were working the scent very deliberately, when up jumped a great 
thumping hare, which they ran into in view at the well at the corner. 
Our sportmen were somewhat disgusted at this, but made the best of 
the matter, and laid the mishap to the charge of the horse in the 
morning. 

After consuming another hour or two in drawing hopeless covers, 
and riding about the country, they entered Handley Cross just in fall 
tide, when all the streets and shops swarmed with bright eyes and 
smart dresses, and each man said they had had a capital day's sport, 
and killed. After passing through the principal streets, the hounds and 
horses were dismissed, and the red coats were seen flitting abouttill dusk. 

The next day, however, produced no change for the better, nor the 
following, nor the one after ; and the oftener they went, the wilder 
and worse the hounds became. Sometimes, by dint of mobbing, they 
managed to kill a fox, but hares much more frequently fell a prey to 
the renowned pack. At length they arrived at such a state of per- 



if* 




OR, MR. JORROCKS'S HUNT. 69 

faction, that they would hunt almost anything. The fields, as may 
be supposed, soon dwindled down to nothing, and, what was worse, 
many of the visitors began to slip away from Handley Cross without 
paying their subscriptions. To add to their misfortunes, bills poured 
in a-pace for poultry and other damage ; and every farmer's wife who 
♦had her hen-roost robbed, laid the blame upon the foxes. Fleeceall 
had the first handling of the bills, but not being a man with a pro- 
pensity for settling questions, he entered into a voluminous corres- 
pondence with the parties for the laudable purpose of proving that 
foxes did not meddle with poultry. 

One evening as our masters returned home, quite dispirited after 
an unusually bad day, without having seen a fox, though the hounds 
had run into and killed a fat wether, and seized an old woman in a 
scarlet cloak, they agreed to meet after dinner, to consider what was 
best to be done under the circumstances. On entering the room, 
which they did simultaneously, two letters were seen on the table, 
one of small size, directed to "The Gentlemen Managers of the 
Handley Cross Hunt-Ball and Supper," containing, in a few laconic 
items, the appalling amount of £290 8s. Qd. for the expenses of the 
memorable ball-night. The other more resembled a Government- 
office packet than a letter, and was bound with red tape and sealed ; 
it was addressed to the " Honourable the Committee of Management 
of the Handley Cross Fox Hounds." Barnington, more stout-nerved 
than his colleagues, tore off the tape, when out of the envelope fell a 
many-paged bill, secured at the stitching part with a delicate piece of 
blue silk. The contents ran thus :— 

THE HONOURABLE COMMITTEE OF MANAGEMENT OF THE 
HANDLEY CROSS FOX-HOUNDS 

To WALTER FLEECEALL, Br. 

£ *. d t 
SepL Attending you by especial appointment, when you communi- 
cated your desire of taking the Hounds 13 4 

Considering the subject very attentively 110 

Attending Capt. Doleful, M.C., at Miss Jelly's, the Pastry Cook's, 
conferring with him on the subject, when it was arranged 
that a Public Meeting of the Inhabitants should be called . 13 i 

Drawing notice of the same 110 

Making two fair copies thereof 10 6 

Posting same at Library and Billiard Room 6 8 

Long attendance on Capt. Doleful, M.C., arranging prelimi- 
naries, when it was agreed that Mr. Barnington should be 

called to the chair 13 i 

Communicating with Mr. Barnington thereon, and advising him 

what to say 110 

Attending Meeting, self and clerk 1 10 6 

Making speech on the merits and advantages of Fox-hunting 

(what you please) 

Making minute of the appointment of the committee of 
management ...,,.. . . . r> 6 8 

Carry forward . . 7 17 4 



64 HAXDLEY CMOSS ; 

£ t. &. 

Brought forward ... 7 Vt 4 

Attending Capt. Doleful, M.C., by especial appointment at Miss 
Jelly's, when it appeared advisable to conciliate the farmers ; 
writing to Mr. Stephen Dumpling, requesting his attendance 6 8 

Attending meeting, when Mr. Dumpling's name was added to 
the committee, and title of hunt changed to " Handley Cross " 
Hounds 110 

Making special minute thereof, and of appointment of self as 
secretary 0106 

Writing 353 letters soliciting subscriptions, inviting and exhort- 
ing gentlemen to become members of the hunt, describing the 
uniforms — scarlet coats with blue collars in a morning, and 
sky-blue coats, lined with pink silk, canary-coloured shorts, 
and white silk stockings in an evening (letters very long and 
very pressing) 25 

Writing 129 rejoinders to 129 answers from 129 gentlemen who 
did not readily come into the thing, pointing out the merits 
and advantages of fox-hunting in general, and of the 
Handley Cross fox-hunt in particular 10 

Seven gentlemen refusing to subscribe on the grounds that the 
hounds would hunt hare, drawing long and special affidavit 
that they were true to fox and would not look at hare . . 2 2 

Attending swearing same, and paid for oaths . . . .068 

Three gentlemen refusing to become members unless the hounds 
were allowed to run hare occasionally, writing to assure them 
their wishes would be complied with 110 

Mr. Spinnage having written to say he could not subscribe unless 
they occasionally hunted stags, writing to assure him that 
they were stag-hounds quite as much as fox-hounds . .008 

Mrs. Margery Mumbleby having sent in a bill of 11. 8s. 6d. for 
four hens, a duck, and a goose, stolen by the foxes, consulting 
sporting records to see whether foxes were in the habit of 
doing such things, engaged all day, and paid Mr. Hookem, the 
librarian, for searching through his Sporting works . ..220 

Writing Mrs. Margery Mumbleby very fully thereon, and stating 
my firm conviction that it was not the foxes (copy to keep) . 13 4 

Mrs. Margery Mumbleby not being satisfied with my answer, 
drawing case for the opinion of the Editor of the " Field ; or, 
Country Gentleman's Newspaper," three brief sheets . . 1 11 6 

Paid carriage of parcel and booking 3 4 

Paid him and secretary 2 4 6 

Carriage of parcel back, containing Editor's answer, who said 

he had no doubt the foxes were " two-legged " ones . ..030 

Fair copy of answer for Mrs. Margery Mumbleby, and writing 
her fully thereon (copy to keep) 6 8 

Hearing that Dennis O'lirian, Esq., was going to visit his castle 
in Ireland, calling at his lodgings to receive the amount of 
his subscription prior to his departure, when the maid-servant 
said her master was not at home 

Calling again, same auswer 

Ditto, ditto ......... 

Ditto, ditto 

Ditto, ditto . . 

Ditto, ditto, when the servant said Mr. O'Brian had 
left this morning 

Wuch mental anxiety, postage, parcels, letters, &c, not before 
charged (what you please) ..,,... . 

Total £85 16 2 



OR, MR. JORROCKS'S HUNT. 65 

It is but justice to Mr. Fleeceall's accurate method of transacting 
business, to state that on the creditor side was £18 18s. for six 
subscriptions received, and a very promising list of gentlemen who 
had not yet found it convenient to pay, amounting in the whole to 
some £300. 

The two bills, however, sealed the fate of the committee of manage- 
ment, and drove the slaughtered wether and scarlet-cloaked old 
woman of the morning out of their recollections. 

Shocked at his situation, Stephen Dumpling took the white-legged 
chestnut to Duncan Nevin, but though that worthy admitted that 
he was varry like the field, neither his long tail, nor his flowing 
mane, would induce him to offer more than twenty-five pounds 
for him. 

" I really have more horses than I can do with," repeated Mr. 
Nevin ; " had you come last week, or the week afore, I had three 
gentlemen wanting horses for the season, and I could have given you 
more, for I should have got him kept till April, and there may be a 
vast of frost or snow before then, but it would not do for me to have 
Am standing eating his head off ; you know I've nothing to do with 
the weather," added he, " when they are once let." Had Duncan 
known how things stood, he would not have offered him more than 
ten. 

Fortunately for Stephen, Smith and Barnington being both in 
high credit, the chestnut was saved from the " Nimrod livery and 
bait stables." Still the committee was at an end, and that soon 
became known. " Who now was to take the hounds ? " was the 
universal inquiry, which no one could answer. The visitors looked 
to the townspeople to make the move, and the townspeople wished to 
give them precedence. With the uninitiated, the main qualification 
for a master appears to be " plenty of money." With them the 
great sporting objection of " he knows nothing about hunting," is 
unheard of. 

The case was urgent and the emergency great. None of the com- 
mittee would touch again, and there was no engagement to hunt out 
the season. Puff paragraphs were tried in the Handley Cross Paul 
Pry, a gossiping publication, which enlivened the list of arrivals, 
departures, changes of residence, parties given, &c, with what it 
called the " sports of the chase," but without success. Some, to be 
sure, nibbled, and made inquiries as to expense and subscription, but 
their ultimatums were always in the negative ! Sky-blue coats and 
pink linings were likely to be at a discount. 

In the midst of the dilemma, Captain Doleful's anxious mind, 
quickened by self-interest, hit upon a gentleman made for the place 
— rich as Croesus, a keen and scientific sportsman — an out-and-out 
lover of hunting — everything in fact that they wanted. His face 
wrinkled like a Norfolk biffin with delight, and he summoned Fleece- 
all, Hookem the librarian, Boltem the billiard-table keeper, to Miss 



66 HANDLE Y CBOSS; 

Jelly's, where, over a tray of hot mutton pies, most magnanimously 
furnished at his own expense, he arranged the scheme disclosed in 
the following chapter. 



CHAPTER VII. 

MR. JORROCKS. 
A man he was to all the country dear. 



" "Where can that be from, Binjimin ? " inquired Mr. Jorrocks of 
his boy of all-work, as the latter presented him with a large double- 
headed letter, with a nourishing coat of arms seal. 

Mr. Jorrocks was a great city grocer of the old school, one who 
was neither ashamed of his trade, nor of carrying it on in a dingy 
warehouse that would shock the managers of the fine mahogany- 
countered, gilt-canistered, puffing, poet-keeping establishments of 
modern times. He had been in business long enough to remember 
each succeeding lord mayor before he was anybody — "reg'lar little 
tuppences in fact," as he used to say. Not that Mr. Jorrocks decried 
the dignity of civic honour, but his ambition took a different turn. 
He was for the field, not the forum. 

As a merchant he stood high — country traders took his teas with- 
out tasting, and his bills were as good as bank notes. Though an 
unlettered man he had great powers of thought and expression in his 
peculiar way. He was " highly respectable," as they say on 'Change 
— that is to say, he was very rich, the result of prudence and economy 
— not that he was stingy, but his income outstripped his expenses, 
and money like snow rolls up amazingly fast. 

A natural born sportsman, his lot being cast behind a counter 
instead of in the country, is one of those frolics of fortune that there 
is no accounting for. To remedy the error of the blind goddess, 
Mr. Jorrocks had taken to hunting as soon as he could keep a horse, 
and though his exploits were long confined to the suburban county 
of Surrey, he should rather be " credited " for keenness in following 
the sport in so unpropitious a region, than " debited " as a Cockney 
and laughed at for his pains. But here the old adage of " where 
ignorance is bliss," &c. came to his aid, for before he had seen any 
better country than Surrey, he was impressed with the conviction 
that it was the "werry best," and their hounds the finest in 
England. 

" Doesn't the best of everything come to London?" he would ask, 
"and doesn't it follow as a nattaral consequence, that the best 'unting 
is to be had from it ? " 

Moreover, Mr. Jorrocks looked upon Surrey as the peculiar province 




JOHN JOR^OCKS OF GREAT CORAM STREET. 



on, Mr. jorrocks's hunt. &i 

of Cockneys — we beg pardon — Londoners. His earliest recollections 
carried him back to the days of Alderman Harley, and though his 
participation in the sport consisted in reading the meets in a boot- 
maker's window in the Borough, he could tell of all the succeeding 
masters, and criticise the establishments of Clayton, Snow, Maberly, 
and the renowned Daniel Haigh. 

It was during the career of the latter great sportsman, that 
Mr. Jorrocks shone a brilliant meteor in the Surrey hunt — he was 
no rider, but with an almost intuitive knowledge of the run of a fox, 
would take off his hat to him several times in the course of a run. 
No Saturday seemed perfect unless Mr. Jorrocks was there ; and his 
great chestnut horse, with his master's coat-laps flying out beyond 
his tail, will long be remembered on the outline of the Surrey hills. 
These are recollections that many will enjoy, nor will their interest 
be diminished as time throws them back in the distance. Many 
bold sportsmen, now laid on the shelf, and many a bold one still 
going, will glow with animation at the thoughts of the sport they 
shared in with him. 

Of the start before day-break — the cries of the cads — the mirth of 
the lads — the breakfasts at Croydon — the dear " Derby Arms," — the 
cheery Charley Morton ; then the ride to the meet — the jovial greeting 
— the glorious find, and the exhilarating scrambles up and down the 
Surrey hills. — Then if they killed ! — 0, joy ! unutterable joy ! How 
they holloaed ! How they hooped ! How they lugged out their 
half-crowns for Tom Hill, and returned to town flushed with victory 
and eau-de-vie. 

But we wander — 

When the gates of the world were opened by railways, our friend 's 
active mind saw that business might be combined with pleasure, and 
as first one line opened and then another, he shot down into the 
different countries — bags and all — Beckford in one pocket — order 
book in the other — hunting one day and selling teas another. Nay, 
he sometimes did both together, and they tell a story of him in 
Wiltshire, holloaing out to a man who had taken a fence to get rid 
of him, " Did you say two chests o* black and one o' green ? " 

Then when the Great Northern opened he took a turn down to 
Peterborough, and emboldened by what he saw with Lord Fitz- 
william, he at length ventured, right into the heaven of heavens — 
the grass — or what he calls the " cut 'em down " countries.* What 
a commotion he caused ! Which is Jorrocks ? Show me Jorrocks ! 
Is that old Jorrocks ! and men would ride to and fro eyeing him as 
if he were a wild beast. Gradually the bolder ventured a word at 
him — observed it was a fine day — asked him how he liked their 
country ? or their hounds. Next, perhaps, the M. F. H. would give 
him a friendly lift — say " good morning, Mr. Jorrocks " — then some 

* " Cut 'em. down and hang 'em up to dry I " — Leicestershire phrase. 



68 EANDLfiY CkOSS; 

of what Jorrocks calls the " hupper crusts " of the hunt, would begin 
talking to him, until he got fairly launched among them — when he 
would out with his order book and do no end of business in tea. 
None but Jorrocks & Co.'s tea goes down in the midland counties. 
Great, however, as he is in the country, he is equally famous in 
London, where his " Readings in Beckford " and sporting lectures in 
Oxenden Street procured him the attentions of the police. 

Mr. Jorrocks had now passed the grand climacteric, and balancing 
his age with less accuracy than he balanced his books, called himself 
somewhere between fifty and sixty. He wouldn't own to three pund, 
as he called sixty, at any price. Neither could he ever be persuaded 
to get into the scales to see whether he was nearer eighteen " stun " 
or twenty. He was always '■ 'ticlarly engaged " just at the time, 
either goin' to wet samples of tea with his traveller, or with some 
one to look at " an oss," or, if hard pressed, to take Mrs. J. out in 
the chay. " He didn't ride stipple chases," he would say, " and wot 
matter did it make ow much he weighed ? It was altogether 'twixt 
him and his oss, and weighin' wouldn't make him any lighter." In 
person he was a stiff, square-built, middle-sized man, with a thick 
neck and a large round head. A woolly broad-brimmed lowish- 
crowned hat sat with a jaunty side-long sort of air upon a bushy 
nut-brown wig, worn for comfort and not deception. Indeed his 
grey whiskers would have acted as a contradiction if he had, but 
deception formed no part of Mr. Jorrocks's character. He had a 
fine open countenance, and though his turn-up nose, little grey eyes, 
and rather twisted mouth, were not handsome, still there was a 
combination of fun and good humour in his looks that pleased at 
first sight, and made one forget all the rest. His dress was generally 
the same — a puddingey white neckcloth tied in a knot, capacious 
shirt frill (shirt made without collars), a single-breasted high-collared 
buff waistcoat with covered buttons, a blue coat with metal ones, 
dark blue stockingnet pantaloons, and hessian boots with large tassels, 
displaying the liberal dimensions of his full, well-turned limbs. The 
coat pockets were outside, and the back buttons far apart. 

His business place was in St. Botolph's Lane, in the City, but his 
residence was in Great Coram Street. This is rather a curious 
locality, — city people considering it west, while those in the west 
consider it east. The fact is, that Great Coram Street is somewhere 
about the centre of London, near the London University, and not a 
great way from the Euston station of the Birmingham railway. 
Jorrocks says it is close to the two best cover hacks in the world, 
the great Northern and Euston stations. Approaching it from the 
east, which seems the proper way of advancing to a city man's 
residence, you pass the Foundling Hospital in Guildford Street, crops 
Brunswick Square, and turning short to the left you find yourself in 
"Great Coram Street." Neat unassuming houses form the sides, 
and the west end is graced with a building that acts the double part 



OR, MR. JORROCKS'S HUNT. 



59 



of a reading-room and swimming-bath ; " literature and lavement " 
is over the door. 

In this region the dazzling glare of civic pomp and courtly state 
are equally unknown. Fifteen-year-old footboys in cotton velveteens 
and variously fitting coats being the objects of ambition, while the 
rattling of pewter pots about four o'clock denote the usual dinner 
hour. — It is a nice quiet street, highly popular with Punch and 
other public characters. A smart confectioner's in the neighbour- 
hood leads one to suppose that it is a favourite locality for citizens. 




BELINDA JORROCKS. 



We may as well introduce the other inmates of Mr. Jorrocks's 
house, before we return to our story, premising that they are now 
going to act a prominent part. 

Mrs. Jorrocks, who, her husband said, had a cross of blood in her, 
her sire being a gent, her dam a lady's maid, was a commonish sort 
of woman, with great pretension, and smattering of gentility. She 
had been reckoned a beauty at Tooting, but had outlived all, save the 
recollection of it. She was a dumpy figure, very fond of fine bonnets, 
and dressed so differently, that Mr. Jorrocks himself sometimes did 
not know her. Her main characteristics were a red snub nose, a 
profusion of false ringlets, and gooseberry eyes, which were green in 
one light and grey in another. 

Mr. Jorrocks's mother, who had long held a commission to get him 



00 HANDLEY GROSS; 

a wife, had departed this life without executing it ; and our friend 
soon finding himself going all wrong in his shirts and stocking-feet, 
and having then little time to go a courting, just went, hand over 
head as it were, to a ball at the " Horns " at Kennington Common, 
and drew the first woman that seemed inclined to make up to him, 
who chanced to be the now companion of his greatness. 

No children blessed the union ; and a niece, the orphan daughter 
of a brother of Mr. Jorrocks, formed their family circle. Belinda 
Jorrocks was just entering upon womanhood — young, beautiful, and 
guileless. In person she was of the middle size, neither too slim nor 
too stout, but just of that plump and pleasantly-rounded form that 
charms all eyes, whether admirers of the tall or short. Her light- 
brown silken hair clasped the ivory forehead of a beautiful oval face, 
while the delicate regularity of her lightly-pencilled eyebrows con- 
trasted with the long rich fringe of her large blue eyes ; rosy lips 
and pearly teeth appeared below her Grecian nose, while her clear 
though somewhat pale complexion brightened with the flush of 
animation when she spoke. Her waist was small, and her feet 
sylph-like. 

" Where can this be from Binjimin ? " inquired Mr. Jorrocks, 
taking the letter before mentioned as he sat in his red morocco hunt- 
ing-chair in the back drawing-room in Great Coram Street. 

" 'Andley Cross ! Where is that ? " said he, looking at the post- 
mark. " Knows no one there, I think," continued he, cutting the 
paper on each side of the seal with a pair of large scissors kept in 
the capacious black inkstand before him. Having opened the enve- 
lope, a large sheet of white paper and a gilt-edged pink satin-paper 
note, headed with an embossed stag-hunt, presented themselves. He 
opened the note first. The writing was unknown to him, so he took 
up the other, and folding it out, proceeded to read the contents. 
Thus it run : — 

TO JOHN JORROCKS, ESQ. 

"Honoured Sir, 

" The committee of management of the Eandley Cross fox- 
hounds being under the necessity of relinquishing their undertaking, 
we, the undersigned keen and determined sportsmen, having experienced 
the evils of a divided mastership, and feeling fully impressed with the 
importance of having a country hunted single-handed by a gentleman 
of known talent and experience, who will command the respect and 
obedience of his followers and the admiration of the world, look up to 
you, sir, as pre-eminently qualified for the distinguished, honourable, 
and much coveted situation." 

u My vig ! " exclaimed Mr. Jorrocks, jumping from his chair, 
slapping his thigh, and hopping round the table, taking up three or 
four holes of his face with delight — " My vig ! who would have ever 



Oli, MM. JOltltOCKS'S ILUNT. 61 

thought of such a thing ! — 0, John Jorrocks ! John Jorrocks ! you 
are indeed a most fortunate man ! a most lucky dog ! dear ! 
dear ! Was ever anything so truly delightful ! " Some seconds 
elapsed ere our worthy friend could compose himself sufficiently to 
look again at the letter. At last he resumed : — 

" When we consider, sir," it continued, " the brilliant position you 
have long achieved in that most illustrious of all hunts, ' the Surrey J 
and the glorious character you have gained as an ardent admirer of 
field sports, we feel most deeply and sincerely sensible that there is 
no one to whom we can more safely confide this important trust than 
yourself" 

" Capital ! bravo ! werry good indeed ! " exclaimed Mr. Jorrocks, 
laying down the letter again for the purpose of digesting what he had 
read. " Capital indeed," he repeated, nursing one leg over the other, 
and casting his eyes up at a dirty fly-catcher dangling over his head. 
Thus he sat for some moments in mute abstraction. At length he 
let down his leg and took up the letter. 

" In conclusion, sir," it ended, " we beg to assure you that you 
possess alike the confidence and esteem of the inhabitants of this town 
and neighbourhood ; and in the event of your acceding to our wishes, 
and becoming the manager of our magnificent hunt, ive pledge ourselves 
to afford you our most cordial and strenuous support, and to endeavour 
by every means in our power to make you master of the Handley Cross 
fox-hounds, at the smallest possible expense and inconvenience to 
yourself. 

{Signed) Miseerimus Doleful, M. C, 

Captain Half -pay. 

Duncan Nevin. 
Alfred Boltem. 
Simon Hookem. 
Walter Fleeceall. 
Judas Turnbill. 
Michael Grasper." 

" Capital, indeed ! " exclaimed Mr. Jorrocks, laying down the 
letter, clapping and rubbing his hands ; " werry good indeed — most 
beautiful, in fact — wot honour I arrive at ! — wonder what these 
chaps are now ! " added he ; saying which, in taking up the letter his 
eye caught the pink satin paper note. It was in the same fine lady- 
like running hand as the letter, and purported to be from Captain 
Doleful, explanatory of their motives, and vouching for the respect- 
ability of himself and brother requisitionists. Mr. Jorrocks was all 
delight, and being the child of impulse and generous feelings, his joy 
found vent in stamping on the floor, thereby summoning his servant 
the aforesaid Benjamin into his presence. 



82 HANDLEY CROSS; 

Benjamin, or Bmj/min, as Mr. Jorrocks pronounced the name, was 
one of those mischievous urchins that people sometimes persuade 
themselves do the work of a man without the wages. He was a 
stunted, pasty-faced, white-headed, ginnified boy, that might be any 
age from eight to eighteen, and as idle and mischievous a brat as it 
was possible to conceive ; sharp as a needle, and quick as lighLiing, 
he was fai more than a match for his over easy master, whom he 
cheated and deceived in every possible way. Whatever went wrong, 
Benjamin always had an excuse for it, which generally transferred the 
blame from his own to some one else's shoulders, — a piece of in- 
genuity that required no small degree of dexterity, inasmuch as the 
light-porter of the warehouse, Betsey, a maid of all work, and a girl 
under her, were all he had to divide it among. Not a note came into 
the house, or a letter went out of it, but Benjamin mastered it's 
contents ; and Mrs. Jorrocks was constantly losing things out of the 
store-room and closets, which never could be traced to anybody. 

One unlucky Sunday morning, indeed, Mr. Jorrocks happened to 
turn back suddenly on his way to church, and caught him sitting in 
his easy chair at the breakfast table, reading Bell's Life in London, 
and scooping the marmalade out of the pot with his thumb, when he 
visited Benjamin's back with a summary horse-whipping ; but that 
was the only time, during a period of three years, that he ever was 
caught in a scrape he could not get out of. This might be partly 
attributable to Betsey finding it convenient to be in with Benjamin, 
who winked at the visits of a genteel young man from a neighbouring 
haberdasher's. The poor maid under Betsey, and the light porter, 
who was generally absent, were therefore the usual scape-goats, or 
somebody else's servant, who had happened to come with a message 
or parcel. Such was Mr. Jorrocks's domestic establishment, which, 
like most masters, he either thought, or aifecfced to think, very 
perfect. 

We left our friend stamping for Benjamin, who made his appear- 
ance as soon as he could slip down-stairs and come up again, he 
having been watching his master through the keyhole since deliver- 
ing the letter. 



" Now, Binjimin," said Mr. Jorrocks, eyeing him with one of his 
benevolent looks, and not knowing exactly what to say ; " now, 
Binjimin," he repeated, " are the 'osses all right ? " 

" Yes, sir, and the wehicle too." 

" Werry good," replied Mr. Jorrocks — " werry good," taking a 
half-emptied pot of Lazenby's marmalade, out of a drawer in his 
library table. " See now ! there's a pot of marmeyM for you ! " 
(Mr. Jorrocks had the knack of making the most of what he did, and 
treated the half pot as a whole one) and mind be a good louy, and I 
make no doubt you'll rise to be a werry great man — nothing gains 



OR, MR. JOBROCKS'S HUNT. 63 

man or bouy the respect and esteem of the world so much as honesty, 
sobriety, and cleanliness." 

Mr. Jorrocks paused. — He would have finished with a moral, 
wherein his own fortune should have furnished the example, but 
somehow or other he could not turn it at the moment, so after 
scrutinising Benjamin's dirty face for a second, he placed the marma- 
lade pot in his hand, and said, " now go and wesh your mug." 

Uncommonly amiable and consequential was Mr. Jorrocks that 
morning. As he walked, or rather strutted into the City, he gave 




MR, JORROCKS ! 



twopence to every crossing-sweeper in his line, from the black-eyed 
wench at the corner of Brunswick Square, to the breechless boy, with 
the red night cap, at St. Botolph's Lane end ; and he entered his 
dark and dingy warehouse with a smile on his brow, enough to 
illumine the dial of St. Giles's clock in a fog. Most fidgetty and un- 
easy was he all the morning — every foot-fall made his eyes start from 
the ledger, and wander towards the door, in hopes of seeing some 
member of the Surrey, or some brother sportsman, to whom he might 
communicate the great intelligence. He went on 'Change with a 
hand in each breeches pocket, and a strut that plainly told how well 
he was to do with himself : still some dear-bought experience had 
given him a little prudence, and all things considered he determined 



64 HANDLE* CilOSS; 

to sleep on the invitation before he answered it. — Perhaps the pro's 
and con's of his mind will be best displayed by a transcript of what 
he wrote — 

" Gentlemen, 

" 1 have the honour to acknowledge the receipt of your favour 
of the 4th, and note the contents, ivhich I assure you is most grateful 
to my feelings : in all you have said I most cordially goinside. — It's 
pleasant to see humanity estimating one's lvalue at the price one sets on 
oneself I am a sportsman all over, and to the bacle-bone. — 'Unling 
is all Meat's ivorth living for — all time is lost wot is not spent in 'unting 
— it is lilce the hair we breathe — if ive have it not we die — if 8 the sport 
of kings, the image of war without its guilt, and only five-and-twenty 
per cent, of its danger. 

" I have no manner of doubt at all, that I'm fully qualified for the 
mastership of the 'Andley Cross fox-hounds, or any other — 'unting has 
been my 'obby ever since I could Jceep an 'oss, and long before — a 
southerly wind and a cloudy slcy are my delight — no music like the 
melody of 'ounds. But enough of the rhapsodies, let us come to the 
melodies — the <£. s. d. in fact. Wot will it cost ? — In course ifs a 
subscription pack— then say how many paying subscribers have you? 
Wot is the nett amount of their subscriptions — how many couple of 
'ounds have you ? Are they steady ? Are they musical ? How 
many days a week do you tvant your country 'wited? Is stoppin' 
expensive ? What 'un a country is it to ride over ? Stiff', or light, 
or middlin', or what? Enormous, endless woodlands without rides, 
stiff wales, ivith small enclosures and unreasonable raspers amid 
masses of plough ; or pleasant copse-like covers, with roomy grass 
enclosures to reward the adventurous leaper with a gallop ? Is it, 
in short, a country where a man can see 'ounds without zactly ridin' 
to tread on their tails ? Are your covers wide of the kennel ? Where 
is your kennel ? I never heard of your 'ounds before— wot stablin' 
have you? Is 'ay and corn costly? In course you'll have your 
stock of meal by you ? Are there any cover rents to pay — and if so, 
who pays them? How are you off for foxes? Are they stout and 
wild, and like to take a deal o' killin', or jest a middlin' sort ofhanimal 
that one may look to who-hoop-in pretty often ? Write me fully— fairly 
—freely— frankly, in fact, and believe me to remain, gentlemen, all 
your's to serve, 

"John Jorrocks, 

« To Miserrimus Doleful, Esq., M.C., " Great Coram street > Lond <>n. 

" Captain Half-pay, Handley Cross." 
****** 

" Well, come this is more like business than any we have had yet," 
observed Captain Doleful on reading the episth — "though some of 
his questions will be plaguy troublesome to answer. What does he 



OR, MR. JORROCKS'S HUNT. «6 

mean by ' Are they steady ? ' — ' Are they musical ? ' and as to the 
' stopping being expensive,' of course that must depend a good deal 
upon how he lives, and whether he stops at an inn or not. — It's a 
pity but I knew something about the matter, that I might make a 
satisfactory answer." 

Fleeceall had Blaine's Encyclopaedia of Sural Sports, but as he was 
thought rather too sharp, Doleful determined to try what they could 
do without him ; accordingly, he concocted the following epistle, 
which having copied on to a sheet of sea-green paper, he sealed with 
yellow wax, and deposited it in the post — 

"Dear Mr. Jorrocks, 

" Your kind and flattering letter has just come to hand, 
and I lose not a moment in supplying you with all the information in 
my power, relative to our celebrated dogs. Unfortunately the secretary 
to the hunt, Mr. Fleeceall, is absent on urgent business, consequently 
I have not access to those documents which would enable me to answer 
you as fully as I could wish. The dogs, as you doubtless know, are 
of the purest blood, having been the property for many years of that 
renowned sportsman, Michael Hardey, and are bred ivith the very 
greatest care and attention. It is perhaps not going too far to say thai 
there is not such another pack in the world. There are at present 
thirty -two couple of old ones in kennel, besides an excellent ivhite terrier 
with a black eye. They are very steady and most musical. Their 
airing yard adjoins the Ebenezer chapel, and when the saints begin to 
sing, the dogs join chorus. Handley Cross, where the kennel is situated, 
is in the most beautiful, fertile, and salubrious part of the country, 
within two miles of the Datton station of the Lily-ivhite-sand railway, 
and contains a chalybeate spa of most unrivalled excellence. The 
following is an accurate analysis of the water taken by an eminent 
French physician, who came all the way from Rheimsfor the express 
purpose of examining it : — 

" ONE PINT (Wine measure). 

" Sulphate of soda 21 Grams. 

" Sulphate of magnesia 3£ 

" Sulphate of lime ........ *| 

" Muriate of soda , . . 9J 

" Oxide of iron 1 

" Carbonic acid li 

" To this unrivalled spring, invalids from every part of the world, 
from every quarter of the globe, flock in countless numbers ; and it is 
unnecessary to point out to a sportsman like yourself either the 
advantages that a pack of hounds confer on such a place, or the benefits 
accruing to the master from having the support of men with whom, to 
use a familiar phrase, * money is no object.'' Indeed I think I may 
eqfely say, that keennms is all that is required* and a gentleman Ufa 



66 HAND LET CROSS; 

you would meet with support that ivould galvanize your most sanguine 
expectations. You mtist excuse my saying more at present, as I have 
been out since daybreak, and there is apiece of cold roast beef standing 
before me at this moment, whose beautifully marbled side, and rich 
yellow fat with a delicately browned outside, in conjunction with a crisp 
lettuce-salad in a china bowl, 'peremptorily order me to conclude, which 
I do with the earnest exhortation for you at once to declare yourself for 
the high honour of the mastership of the Handley Cross hounds. 
Believe me to remain in extreme hunger, dear Mr. Jorrocks, very 
sincerely your's, 

"Miserrimus Doleful, M.O., 

11 Handley Cross." « Capt. Half -pay:' 

" Dash my vig ! " exclaimed Mr. Jorrocks, laying down the letter, 
" what prime beef that must be ! By jingo I almost fancy I see the 
joint, with the nice, curly, crisp, brown 'orse radish, sticking to it in 
all directions. — I knows nothing better than good cold roast, tinged 
with red from the gravy in the centre. — Doleful must be a trump — 
feel as if I knew him. Keen fellow too — Peep-of-day boy. — Dare say 
he found the fox by the drag — Oh, vot joy is that ! Nothing to 
compare to it. — Might as well have told me more about the 'ounds 
too," he observed, as a glimmering of caution 3hot across his mind. — 
"Should like to have a fair black and white understanding what they 
are to cost. I'm rich to be sure, but then a man wot's made his own 
money likes to see to the spending of it." Thereupon Mr. Jorrocks 
stuck his hands under his coat-laps and paced thoughtfully up and 
down the apartment, waving them sportively like the tail of a 
dolphin. Having pulled his wig about in all directions, he at last 
composed himself at his table, and drew up the following reply : 

"Dear Doleful, 

" Your agreeable favour has come to hand, and iverry pleasant 
it is. It appears to be directed to two points — the salubriosity of 
'Andley Cross, and the excellence of the 'ounds. On the first point I'm 
content. I make no doubt the ivater's capital. Please tell me more 
about the 'ounds and country — are you quite certain that people will 
not be backward in comin foriuard ivith the coin ? I've lived a goo dish 
while i 1 the world — say a liberal alf under 'd — and Vve never yet found 
money good to get. So long as it consists of pen, ink, and paper ivork, 
it comes in like the hocean; many men can 1 1 elp puttin their names 
down in subscription lists, specially when pay in time's far off, just as 
others can't help noddin at auctions, but confound it, when you come 
to gether in the doits, there's an awful fallin off. Noiv I think that 
no one should be alloived to hoop and holloa, or set up his jaw, wot 
hasn't paid his subscription. Howsomever, you should knoiu best ; 
and suppose now, as you seem full of confidence, you underwrite me 
far so much, cordin to the number of days you want the country 'unled* 



OR, MR. JORROCKS'S HUNT. 67 

" Turn this over in your mind, and let me know what you think of 
it; also please tell me more about the 'ounds and the country, for, in 
fact, as yet I knows nothin. Are there many old ounds in the pack f 
Are there many young ones to come in ? What size are they ? An 
they level 1 Do they carry a good head ? Have they plenty of lone ? 
Cook says a weedy ound is only fit to hint a cat in a kitchen — 1 says 
ditto to that. What sort of condition are they in ? Can they trot out 
fifteen miles or so, \mt and come lack with their sterns up, or do they 
whiles tire afore the foxes ? Bow are you off for foxes ? Are they 
ringers or straight runners ? A ringer is only a hare with a tail to it. 
Do you ever hunt a bagman? Again I say y write to me without 
reserve — quite freely, in fact, and believe me, <kc, 

" Yow's to serve, 

"John Jorrocks, 

"To Miserrimus Doleful, Esq., M.O., "Great Coram Street, London." 

" Capt. Half-pay, Haudley Cross Spa." 

This letter was a poser, for the worthy M.C. had no notion of run- 
ning risks, neither had he the knowledge necessary for supplying the 
information Mr. Jorrocks required ; still he saw the absolute neces- 
sity of persevering in the negotiation, as there was no probability of 
any one else coming forward. In this dilemma, it occurred to him 
that a bold stroke might be the policy, and obviate further trouble. 

Accordingly he wrote as follows : — 

"Dear Mr. Jorrocks, 

" Tour's is just received. I was on the point of writing to 
you when it came. A rival has appeared for the mastership of the 
hounds : a great Nabob ivith a bad liver, to whom the doctors have 
recommended strong horse-exercise, has arrived with four posters, and 
an influential party is desirous of getting the hounds for him. Money 
is evidently no object— he gave each post-boy a half-sovereign, and a 
blind beggar two and sixpence. 1 have protested most strongly against 
his being even thought of until your final decision is known, which 
pray give immediately, and, for your sake, let it be in the affirmative. 
I caix write no more — my best energies shall be put in requisition to 
counteract the sinister proceedings of otlwrs. Pray write immediately — 
no time is to be lost In the greatest haste, 

" Faithfully yours, 

"Miserrimus Doleful, M.C, 
" To John Jorrocks, Esq., " Capt. Ilalf-pay." 

" Great Coram Street, London." 

This letter was a sad puzzler to our worthy friend. In his eyes a 
mastership of fox-hounds was the highest pinnacle of ambition, and 
fche situation was the more desirable inasmuch a* he had about got 



68 HANDLE Y CROSS; 

all the trade he could in the " cut-me-down " coantries, and shame to 
say, they had rather put him out of conceit of the Surrey. Still long 
experience had tinctured his naturally ardent and impetuous mind 
with some degree of caution, and he felt the importance of having 
some sort of a bargain before entering upon what he well knew was 
an onerous and expensive undertaking. The pros and cons he 
weighed and turned over in his mind, and the following letter was 
the result of his cogitations :— 

"Dear Doleful, 

"I will candidly confess that to be a master of fox-hounds, or 
M. F. H., would be a iverry high step in the ladder of my hambition, 
but still I should not like to pay too dear for my whistle. I doesnt 
wish to disparage the walue of your Nabob, but this I may say, thai 
no man with a bad liver will ever make a good huntsman. An 
'untsman, or M. F. H., should have a good digestion, with a cheerful 
countenance, and, moreover, should know when to use the clean and 
when the dirty side of his tongue — when to butter a booby, and when to 
snub a snob. He should also be indifferent as to weather ; and Nabobs 
zll come from the east, where it is werry 'ot — all sunshine and no fogs. 

" Again, if I am right, they hunt the jackall, not at all a sportin 
animal, I should say, from the specimen in the Zoologicals. Still, as I 
said before, I doesn't wish to disparage the lvalue of your Nabob, who 
may be a werry good man, and have more money and less wit than 
myself. If he is to have the 'ounds, ivell and good — / can go on as I 
'ave been doing, with the glorious old Surrey, and an occasional turn 
with the i cut-me-downs? If I'm to have them, I should like to know 
a little more about the £ s. d. Now, tell me candidly, like a good 
fellow, without any gammon, wot you think they'll cost, and wot can 
be raised in the way of subscription. Of course, a man that's raised 
to the lofty position of an M. F. H. must expect to pay something for 
the honour; and so far from wishing to live out of the' 'ounds, I am 
well disposed to do ivhat is liberal, but then I should like to know the 
extent of my liability. Dignity, in my mind, should not be too cheap, 
but betwixt you and I and the wall I rayther mistrust a water-drinker. 
To be sure there be two sorts o' water-drinkers : those that drink it to 
save the expense of treating themselves with aught better, and those wot 
undergo water for the purpose ofbringin their stomachs round to stand 
summut stronger. Now, if a man drinks water for pleasure, he should 
not be trusted, and ought to be called upon for his subscription in 
advance ; but if he drinks water because he has worn out his inside by 
strong libations, in all humane probability he will be a goodish sort of 
fellow, and his subscription will be underwritten for a trifle. All this 
may be matter of no moment to a Nabob, but to a man vol's risen from 
indigence to affluence by the unaided exertions of his own head, it is of 
importance ; and I should like to know werry particularly how manty 



OR, MR. JORROCKS'S HUNT. 69 

of the subscribers are woluniary water-drinkers, and how many are 

water- drinkers from necessity. 

"I am, as you doubtless know, a great grocer and tea merchant, 
dealin' wholesale and retail, importing direct from China, which 1 
suppose will be the country your Nabob comes from ; and unfortunately 
at the present writing my junior partner, Simon Simpkins, senior, is 
on a trading tour, and I can't ivell be iv anted at the shop, otherwise 1 
would run down and have a personal interview icith you ; but I had 
a letter this morning from Huddersfield, in which he says he will be 
back as on Friday at farthest ; therefore as the season is spending, and 
the 'ounds should be kept going, I could, should your answer be agree- 
able, run down on the Saturday and make arrayigements for taking the 
field immediately. Of course I presume there is everything readg for 
the purpose, and a mounted master is all wot is wanted. I only keep 
two 'osses — ivhat the lawyers call qui tamp ers — ' 'osses that ride as 
well as drive,' and they would only do for my own riding. I have also 
a sharp London lad, who has been with me in the ' cut-me-downs^ 
ivho might make a second whip ; and my establishment consists of 
Mrs. Jorrocks, my niece Belinda, Betsay the maid, and Binjimin 
the boy. Of course, Mrs. J., as the wife of the M. F. H., would expect 
all proper attention. 

" / shall want a comfortable house to accommodate this party, and if 
I could get one with stabling attached, it ivould be agreeable. Perhaps 
you may know something of the sort, the willa style would be agreeable. 
I think that's all I've got to say — indeed, I haven't paper for more, so 
shall conclude for self and partners, 

" Tour's to serve, 

"To MiSERRiMtis Doleful, Esq., M.C., " JOHN JORROCKS." 

" Handley Cross Spa." 

Doleful was in ecstacies when he got this letter, for he plainly saw 
the Nabob had told upon Mr. Jorrocks, and that he was fairly entering 
the meshes of his net. The letter, indeed, was unexceptionable, save 
the mention of his avocation of a grocer, which Doleful determined 
to keep to himself, merely announcing him as a gentleman of large 
fortune, whose father had been connected with trade. Kecollecting 
that Diana Lodge was to let, he forthwith secured the refusal of it at 
three guineas a week, and calling on Fleeceall, concocted a most 
flattering list of subscribers and members of the hunt, which he for- 
warded to Mr. Jorrocks with the following letter : — 

" Dear Mr. Jorrocks, 

" By the greatest good luck in the world, Diana Lodge, within 
a stone's throw of the kennel, came vacant this morning, and not having 
the slightest doubt that on inspection of the accompanying list of sub- 
bribers to the hounds and memb&rs of our celebrated hunt, which yon 



70 HANDLEY CROSS; 

will see by the letters A. and B. prefixed to their names, contain vm% 
few of those most horrible characters water-drinkers from choice, you 
will immediately accept the honourable office of ' Master,' I have engaged 
it for you at the very moderate rent of four guineas a-iveelc, including 
everything. It is a cottage ornee, as you say in France, entered by an 
wy-covered trellis-work arch, tastefully entwined with winter roses, 
now in full bloiu. In the passage is a highly -polished Honduras 
mahogany table on claw-feet castors, for hats, ivhips, gloves, cigar-cases, 
&c. On the right is a dining-room of comfortable dimensions, with 
another Honduras mahogany table, capable of dining eight people, the 
orthodox size for a party , with a Honduras mahogany cellaret sideboard 
with patent-locks, and a dumb-waiter on castors. The carpet is a 
Turkey one, and the rug a Kidderminster, of a pattern to match thfi 
carpet. On the left of the passage is a drawing-room of the samr. 
size as the dining-room, furnished in a style of unparalleled elegance. 

" The chairs, ten in number, are of massive imitation-rosewood, with 
beaded and railed backs and round knobs along the tops, and richly 
carved legs. In the centre is a beautiful round imitation-rosewood table 
on square lion-clawed brass castors, and the edge of the table is deeply 
inlaid with a broad circle of richly-carved, highly -polished brass. 
Against the wall, below a costly round mirror, supported by a bronze 
eagle in chains, is a square imitation-rosewood table inlaid with satin- 
wood in lines, containing two drawers on each side, with ivory knobs 
for handles. The carpet is a fine fioivered pattern, richer than any- 
thing I can describe, and the whole is wonderfully complete and 
surpassingly elegant. 

" There are four bedrooms, and a dressing-room which holds a bed, 
and a kitchen, back-kitchen, scullery, pantry, and other conveniences. 
To the back is a nice little outlet of a quarter of an acre, laid out in the 
style of the Jardin des Plantes at Paris ; and there is a splendid ola 
patriarch of a peacock, that struts about the ivalls, spreads his tail, and 
screams delightfully. In short, it appears to me to Jiave been built 
with an eye to the residence of a master of hounds. 

" And this leads me to tell you that the Nabob has been to the kennel, 
attended by two Negroes, one of whom held a large green parasol over 
his head to protect him from the sun, while the other carried a Chinchilla, 
fur-lined, blue silk cloak to guard him from the cold. I hear he talked 
very big about tiger-hunting and elephant-riding, and said the waters 
here had done his liver a vast deal of good. I may observe that it is 
possible an attempt may be made by a few troublesome fellows to place 
him at the head of the establishment, particularly if you any longer 
delay appearing among us. My advice to you therefore is, to place 
yourself, your amiable lady, and accomplished niece, with your servants, 
horses, &c. on the mid-day lilly -white- sand train, on Friday next, 
and make a public entry and procession from the Datton station into 
Handley Cross, shoivering half-pence among the little boys as you g$ 



OB, MR. JORBOCKS'S HUNT. 71 

/ will take upon myself to muster and marshal such a procession at 
will have an imposing appearance, and the Naooo ivill he a very bold 
man if he makes any attempt upon the hounds after that. 

u I need not say that your amiable lady ivill receive from me, a, 
M. C. of Handley Cross, all those polite attentions that are invariably 
paid by all well-bred gentlemen in the dignified situation I have the 
honour to hold, more particularly from those bearing Her Majesty's 
Commission in the Army ; and in the table of precedence among 
women that I have laid doivn for the regulation of the aristocratic 
visitors of Handley Cross Spa, the lady of the M. F. H. comes on 
after the members of the Royal Family, and before all bishops' wives 
and daughters, peeresses, knights' dames, justices' ivives, and so forth. 
Expecting then to meet you at the Dalton Station on the Lily-white- 
sand Railway, at three o'clock on Friday next, and to have the supreme 
felicity of making the personal acquaintance of a gentleman who 
so worthily fills so large a space in the ivorld's eye, I have the honour 
to subscribe myself, with humble respects to the ladies, dear Mr. 
Jorrocks, 

" Faithfully youfs, 

" Miserrimus Doleful, M.O. 

" Capt. Half-pay." 

And Jorrocks seeing there was as much chance of getting informa- 
tion by correspondence as there was of getting the truth by interroga- 
tories in the days of old Chancery suits, determined to stand the shot, 
and wrote to say that henceforth they might append the magic letters, 
M. F. H., to his name. And forthwith he became so inflated, that 
Great Coram Street itself could hardly hold him. 



CHAPTER VIII. 

CAPTAIN DOLEFUL'S DIFFICULTIES. 



What a fuss there was preparing for Mr. Jorrocks's reception ! — 
Captain Doleful was perfectly beside himself, and ran about the town 
as though he expected her Majesty. First he went to the proprietary 
gchool, and begged a half holiday for all the little boys and girls ; 
next he visited Mr. Whackem's mathematical seminary, and did the 
like by his ; Miss Prim and Miss Prosey both promised to " suspend 
the duties of their respective establishments " for the afternoon ; and 
three infant schools were released from lessons all the day. " Jor- 
rocks for ever," was chalked upon the walls, doors, and shutters ; and 
little children sung out his name in lisping acclamations. Publicans 
looked cheerful, and livery stable keepers, ostlers, and helpers talked 

G2 



72 HANDLEY CROSS; 

about the price of 'ay and corn. Sebastian Mello called a meeting of 
the Religious Freedom Society, who voted eight-and-twenty shillings 
for placarding the town with the following comfortable assurance — 
"Fox-hunters will all go to ." 

The banner with the fox upon it, and the " Floreat Scientia " 
scroll painted for the celebrated ball and supper, was released from 
the darkness of Mr. Fleeceall's garret, where it had been deposited 
after the entertainment, and mounted on poles to lead the way in the 
procession ; while the milliners, mantuamakers, and tailors were 
severally called upon to contribute silk, calico, and bunting for flags, 
decorations, and ribbons. Whatever Doleful demanded was neces- 
sarily ceded, so absolute was his sway over the tradespeople at the 
Spa. He was indeed a very great man. Did a new cheesemonger, 
or a new hatter, or a new milk-woman, wish to settle in the place, the 
good-will of the M. C. was invariably to be obtained, else it was to 
little use their troubling themselves to come ; and the perquisites and 
advantages derived from these sources made a comfortable addition to 
his yearly income, arising from the subscription book at the library. 
The musicians at the wells were also under his control, and of course 
they received intimations to be at the Datton station before the hour 
that Mr. Jorrocks had privately announced his intention to arrive. 

The morning sun broke cheerfully through the clouds in a good, 
downrightly, determined fine day, and as Doleful threw open the lat- 
ticed casement of his window, and his eye roved to the " sun-bright 
summit " of the distant hills, he poured forth an inward ejaculation 
for the success of the great enterprise of the day, and for his own 
especial honour and emolument. In the midst of his reverie Jemima, 
the maid of all work and shop-girl of the house, tapped gently at his 
door, and handed in a three-cornered note written on pink satin 
highly musked paper. Doleful started as though he had seen an 
apparition, for in the hand he immediately recognised the writing of 
his great patroness, Mrs. Barnington, and the recollection of Mrs. 
Jorrocks, the table of precedence among women, whereby the latter 
was to supplant Mrs. Barnington, the baits and lures he had held out 
for the purpose of securing the Jorrocks's, together with the honour 
he was then instigating the inhabitants to do Mr. J., all rushed upon 
his mind with terrible velocity. Nor did the contents of the note 
assuage the anguish of his mind. It was simply this : " Mrs. Barn- 
ington will thank Capt. Doleful to wait upon her at twenty-three 
minutes before eleven." 

" Twenty-three minutes before eleven ! " exclaimed the Captain, 
throwing up his hands, looking like a condemned criminal — " How 
like her that is ! always peremptory with others and never punctual 
herself ; well, there's no help for it. Jemima," exclaimed he, down 
the narrow staircase, to the girl who had returned to the shop, " my 
compliments to Mrs. Barnington, and say I will make a point of 
being with her at the time she names. I wonder," continued he to 




CAPTAIN DOLEFUL AND MRS. BARNINGTOPf, 



OR, MR. JORROCKS'S HUNT. 73 

nimself, pacing up and down his little bedroom in his dressing-gown 
and slippers, " what she can want — it must be about the Jorrocks's 
— and yet I could not do otherwise than I have. If she storms, I'll 
rebel, and trounce her for all her airs ; by Jove, I will ! " saying 
which, he clenched his fist, and, looking in the glass, brushed up the 
few straggling hairs that marked the place for whiskers, and felt 
quite valiant. His courage, however, rather oozed out of his finger 
ends, as the appointed hour approached, and at twenty-one minutes 
before eleven by his watch, and twenty-two and a half by the church 
clock, he arrived at the door of his arbitrary and capricious 
patroness. 

" Mistress is in her boudoir," said the consequential butler on re- 
ceiving the Captain at the hands of the footman, " but I'll send up 
your name. Please step into the parlour ; " and thereupon he 
turned the Captain into the fireless dining-room, and closed the doo 
upon him. 

Towards twelve o'clock, just as the Captain's courage was nearl} 
up again, and he had thrice applied his hand to the ivory knob of the 
bell-spring to see which way it turned against he wanted to ring, in 
strutted the butler again, with " Missis's compliments, sir, and is 
sorry she is indisposed at present, and hopes it will not be incon- 
venient to you to return at ten minutes before three." — " Ten minutes 
before three," exclaimed the Captain as a tinge of colour rose to his 
pallid cheeks, " impossible ! " said he, " impossible I " Then recol- 
lecting himself, he desired the butler to return with his respects to 
Mrs. Barnington, and say that at any hour next day he would have 
grea,t pleasure in waiting upon her, but that his time was completely 
bespoke for the whole afternoon. The butler forthwith departed, and 
in about three quarters of an hour, during which time Mrs. Barning- 
ton had finished a nap on the sofa, and arranged an elegant negligee 
toilette wherein to appear, the butler returned, and with a bow and 
wave of his hand announced that " Missis would see the Captain," 
whom he preceded up-stairs and handed over to Bandoline, the little 
French maid, stationed at the door, who ushered the Captain into the 
presence of Mrs. Barnington in the back drawing-room. She was 
lying in state on a costly many-cushioned crimson and gold ottoman, 
dressed in a fawn-coloured robe de chambre, with a rich white Cach- 
mere shawl thrown carelessly about her legs, below which, her 
elegantly-formed feet in pink swan's-down-lined slippers protruded. 
Her morning cap of costly workmanship was ornamented and tied 
with broad satin cherry-coloured ribbons, which, with the colour of 
the ottoman &*& cushions, imparted a gentle hue to her clear but 
delicate complexion, and her bright silky hair flowed in luxuriant 
tresses from the sides. She was a malade imaginaire-isb, having 
originally come as a patient of Swizzle's ; but that roistering practi- 
tioner had grievously offended her by abruptly closing a long list of 
inquiries by replying to the question if he thought she might eat a 



T4 HANDLEY CROSS; 

few oysters, with " Oh, hang it, marm, yes — shells ana all ! " She 
was now pretending to read the Handley Cross Paul Pry, while with 
her left hand she kept applying a costly gold vinaigrette to her nose. 
The room was a mass of jewellery, costly furniture, and expensive 
tiowers. 

" Good morning, Captain," said she, with the slightest possible in- 
clination of her head. — "Bandoline, set a chair," which she motioned 
the Captain to occupy, and the pretty little maid departed. " Pray," 
said she, as soon as the door closed, " what is the meaning of all this 
to do about a Mr. Horrocks, that I read of in the Paul Pry ? " 

" Mr. Horrocks," replied the Captain, colouring, " really, marm, I 
don't know — it's the first time I've heard the name mentioned this 
long time, — there was a Mr. Horrocks lived in Silenus Villa the year 
before last, but I understood he had gone back to India." 

" Oh, no," replied Mrs. Barnington, " that's quite another person 
— these are Londoners — to&s-people I hear, and the man Horrocks, 
the paper says, is to have the hounds." 

" Oh," replied the Captain, now blushing to the very tips of his 
ears, " you've mistaken the name, marm. Yes, marm. — It's Jorrocks, 
marm — Mister Jorrocks of Great Coram Street, marm — a merchant 
prince, marm — at least his father was. The present Mr. Jorrocks is 
a mighty sportsman, and hearing the hounds were without a leader, 
he wrote to offer himself, and some of the sporting gentry of the place 
have been in treaty with him to take them ; but I need not tell you, 
Mrs. Barnington, that hunting is not an amusement I am partial to, 
indeed I hope I may never have occasion to go out again ; but you 
know that as Master of the Ceremonies I am obliged to countenance 
many things that I would gladly avoid." 

" True," replied Mrs. Barnington, with a smile of approbation — 
" I thought you would not be likely to encourage vulgar people com- 
ing here merely because they don't care for breaking their necks over 
hedges and ditches — but tell me, isn't there a Mrs. Jorrocks ? " 

" I understand so," replied the Captain with a hem and a haw ; " a 
lady of birth, they say ; but had I known you would have interested 
yourself in the matter, I should certainly have informed myself so as 
to have been able to tell you all about her." 

" Oh dear no ! not for the world ! — whether as a lady of birth or a 
tradesman's wife, it would never do for me to concern myself about 
them. You know my position here is not to be controverted by any 
interlopers, be they who they may, — or come from where they will." 

" Undoubtedly not, marm," replied the obsequious M. C. ; " there's 
not a person in the place insensible of the advantages of your pre- 
sence ; but I should hope, — at least, perhaps I may venture to express 
a slight wish, — that if those Jorrocks's appear respectable people, you 
will for the sake of sociability vouchsafe them the favour of your 
countenance, and condescend to notice them a little." 

" I don't know what to say about that, my dear Captain," replied 



OR, MR JORROCKS'S HUNT. 75 

Mrs. Barnington thoughtfully. " If they appear respectable people, 
and if they live in a certain style, and if I thought the matter would 
rest at Handley Cross, and they would not obtrude their acquaintance 
upon me elsewhere, and if they appeared sensible of the obligation, I 
might perhaps call upon them ; but where there are so many points 
to consider, and so many to ascertain, it is almost needless speculating 
upon how one might act ; all that we can do for the present is to 
maintain one's own consequence, and you know full well the only 
way to support a place like this, is to uphold the dignity of the chief 
patroness." 

" No doubt," replied Captain Doleful, with a half-suppressed sigh 
as the table of precedence among women came across his mind. " I 
am sure, Madam, I have always been most anxious to pay you every 
respect and attention in my power, and if I have failed it has been 
owing to the multiplicity of my engagements and duties, and not 
from any want of inclination on my part." — " I'm sure of it, Captain ; 
and now let us see you back here at dinner at ten minutes past six." 
— "With pleasure," replied the Captain, rising to depart, with a grin 
of satisfaction on his melancholy visage. 

" Stay one moment," resumed Mrs. Barnington, as the Captain 
was leaving the room. " The paper says these people arrive to-day. 
If you chance to see them or can find anything out about them, you 
know, well and good — perhaps Mr. Barnington might like to know." 
— " By all means," replied the obsequious M. C, backing courtier- 
like out of the room, and nearly splitting himself up with the now 
opening door. 



CHAPTER IX. 

THE CONQUERING HERO COMES. 



The clear bright beauty of the day, combined with the attraction 
of a stranger coming to fill so important a situation as master of fox- 
hounds, drew many to the Datton Railway station, who were pre- 
viously unacquainted even with the name of " Jorrocks ; " though it 
is but right to state that the ignorant portion consisted principally of 
the fair sex ; most men, whether sportsmen or not, having heard of 
his fame and exploits. 

All the flys, hack horses, donkeys, and ponies, were bespoke as 
usual ; and many set ouc at noon to secure good berths at the station. 
Precisely at two o'clock Captain Doleful appeared at Miss Jelly's 
door, attired in a dress that would puzzle the " property man " of a 
theatre. It was nearly the same as he exhibited himself in on the 
memorable opening day of the committee of management. The old 
single-breasted militia coat, denuded of its facings and trappings, with 



fi HANDLEY CROSS; 

a sky-blue coFlar and sky-blue linings, and a short, shrivelled, buff 
kerseymere waistcoat, with mother-of-pearl buttons, old white mole- 
skin breeches, well darned and patched at the knees, and badly, 
cleaned Hessian boots and black heel spurs. — His hands were covered 
with a pair of dirty-white kid gloves ; and in his right one he carried 
a large hunting-whip. An oil-skin-covered hat, secured to a button- 
hole of his waistcoat by a yard of sky-blue penny ribbon, completed 
the rigging of this sporting dandy. 

Having withdrawn his countenance and custom from Sam Slickem 
after the affair of the kicking mare, (the effect of which had been 
considerably to impoverish Mr. Sam,) of course all the other proprie- 
tors of hack horses were on the alert to please the great M.C., and on 
this day he was mounted by Duncan Nevin on his white mare, Fair 
Rosamond, who was generally honoured by carrying pretty Miss 
Lovelace, once the head beauty of the place — but who being unable 
to ride this day, it came into the hands of the Captain. 

To make the mare more complete, although in winter time, its ears 
were decorated with white fly-nets and dangling tassels, and from the 
saddle hung a large net of the same colour and texture, with a broad 
fringe, completely covering her hind quarters and reaching below her 
hocks. 

Doleful eyed the whole with a grin of satisfied delight, and never 
did field-marshal mount his charger for review with a more self- 
complacent air than sat upon the brow of this distinguished character. 
Having steadied himself in his stirrups, and gathered up the reins, 
he cast an eye between the barley-sugar and cake cans in Miss Jelly's 
window, and hissing at the mare through his teeth with a jerk of the 
reins, went off in a canter. A rare-actioned beast it was too ! Up 
and down, up and down, it went, so light and so easy, and making 
so little progress withal, that Ducrow himself might have envied the 
possession of it. 

Thus Doleful went tit-tup-ping along through the silent streets, to 
the infinite delight of all the Johns and Jennies, who were left to 
flatten their noses against the windows during their masters' and 
mistresses' absence, and here and there exciting the anger of a 
butcher's dog, or farmer's cur, that flew at the mare's heels with an 
indignant bark as she passed. 

Having timed himself to a nicety, our gallant M. 0. arrived at the 
station just as the last fly and flight of donkeys drew up outside the 
iron railing that runs along the railroad from the station-house, and, 
in the absence of Mr. Jorrocks, of course he was the object of attrac- 
tion. " Good morning, Captain Doleful," exclaimed a dozen sweet 
voices from all sorts of vehicles, for women will toady a Master of 
Ceremonies, be he what he may'; and thereupon the Captain gave 
one of his feature- wrinkling grins, and raised his oil-skin-covered hat 
as high as the yard of penny ribbon would allow, while all the little 
boys and girls, for whom he had obtained half-holiday, burst into 




CAPTAIN DOLEFUL, M.C. 



OJR, MB. JORROCKS'S HUNT. 77 

loud acclamations, as they stood or sat on Lily-white-sand barrel 
hazel bundles, and other miscellaneous articles, waiting for convey- 
ance by the railway. "Now, children, mind, be orderly, and attend 
to what I told you," said the Captain, eyeing his juvenile friends as 
though he were marshalling them for a quadrille. " It now wants 
but ten minutes to the coming of the train, so be gettug yourselves 
in order, unfurl the flags ; and you, musicians," turning to the 
promenade band, who were hard at work with some XX, " be getting 
your instruments ready, to welcome Mr. Jorrocks with ' See the 
conquering hero comes ! ' " As the minutes flew, the scene became 
more inspiriting. Eyes were strained up the railway in the direction 
he was to come, and ears were open to catch the first sound of the 
engine. All was anxiety and expectation. Hope and fear vacillated 
on every countenance. " Should he not come, what a bore ! " " Oh. 
but he's certain to arrive, and Mrs. Jorrocks too, arn't they, 
Captain ? " The Captain looked thoughtful and mysterious, as all 
great men should, but deigned no reply. 

Precisely at three-quarters of a minute before three, a wild shrill 
whistle, that seemed to issue from the bowels of the earth and to run 
right up into mid-air, was heard at the back of Shavington Hill, and, 
in an instant, the engine and long train rounded the base, the engine 
smoking and snorting like an exasperated crocodile. Nearer and 
nearer it comes, with a thundering sort of hum that sounds through- 
out the country. The wondering ploughman stops his team. The 
cows and sheep stand staring with astonishment, while the horses 
take a look, and then gallop about the fields, kicking up their heels 
and snorting with delight. The guard's red coat on the engine is 
visible — next his gold hat-band appears — now we read the Hercules 
on the engine, and anon it pulls up with a whiff, a puff, and a whistle, 
under the slate-covered shed, to give the Hercules his water, and set 
down and take up passengers and goods. Seven first-class passenger 
carriages follow the engine, all smart, clean, and yellow, with ap- 
propriate names on each door panel — The Prince Albert, Queen 
Victoria, and the Prince of Wales, The Venus, The Mercury, The 
Comet, and The Star ; next came ten second-class ones, green, with 
covered tops, and half-covered sides, but in neither set is there 
anything at all like the Jorrocks' party. Cattle-pens follow, holding 
sheep, swine, donkeys, a^d poultry ; then came an open platform 
with a broken britzka, followed by a curious-looking nondescript one- 
horse vehicle, containing a fat man in a low-crowned hat, and a 
versatio or reversible coat, with the preferable side outwards. Along 
with him were two ladies muffled up in cloaks, and at the back was a 
good-looking servant-maid. From the bottom of the carriage swung 
a couple of hams, and a large warming-pan. 

" Pray is Mr. Jorrocks here ? " inquired the elegant M. C, who 
had persuaded the station-master to let him in upon the line, riding 
hifl white charger near the door of the first-class carriage, and raising 



78 HANDLEY CB0S3; 

his hat as he spoke ; but getting no answer, he continued hia 
interrogatory down the whole set until he came to the end, when 
casting a despairing glance at the cattle pens, he was about to wheel 
round, when the gentleman in the versatio coat, in a very stentorian 
voice, roared out, " I say, Sir ! Baint this the 'Andley Cross 
station ? " 

" It is, Sir," replied Captain Doleful, in his most dignified manner, 
" the Datton station for Handley Cross at least." 

" Then I want to land," responded the same sweet voice. 

" Here's a gentleman wants to be down," observed Captain Doleful 
to the scarlet-coated guard, who came bustling past with a pen of 
Coehin-Chinus to put upon the train. 

" Yes, a gentleman and two ladies," roared our friend ; " Mister 
and Missis Jorrocks in fact, and Miss Jorrocks ! " 

" Bless my heart," exclaimed Captain Doleful in ecstacies, " how 
delighted I am to see you ! I really thought you were not coming," 
and thereupon the Captain raised his hat to the ladies, and offered 
his hand most cordially to Mr. Jorrocks. 

" What, you knows me, do you ? " replied Mr. Jorrocks, with the 
sort of doubtful shake of the hand that a person gives when he thinks 
the next moment may discover a mistake. "You knows me, do 
you ? " xepeated he, "you have the adwantage of me — pray who are 
you ? " 

" Captain Doleful, M. C," responded our worthy, presenting his 
glazed card to the ladies ; and thereupon Mr. Jorrocks, with a 
chuckle on his good-humoured countenance, as he gazed at the 
Captain's incongruous habiliments, seized his hand and wrung it 
heartily, saying, " 'Ow are ye, Doleful ? 'Ow do ye do ? Werr^ 
glad to see you — werry glad indeed ; 'ow's the Nabob ? " 

" Middling, thank you," replied the Captain, with a faint blush on 
his cadaverous countenance. " But hadn't you better alight and get 
your carriage and things off the train ? " inquired he, glad to turn 
the conversation, " they'll be off with you if you don't mind," and 
thereupon the Captain beckoned the guard, and Mr. Jorrocks, 
standing up in the vehicle, looking very like a hay-stack with a hat 
on the top, bounded to the ground. Mrs. Jorrocks, in a black 
velvet bonnet, lined with pink satin, and her body all shrouded in a 
sea-green silk cloak, then accepted the offer of the Captain's arm, 
and descended with caution and due state ; while Belinda, with the 
spring of youth and elasticity in her limbs, bounded on to the foot- 
way beyond the raiL Benjamin, who was asleep in the horse-box, 
being considerately kicked awake by Mr. Jorrocks, the porters cut off 
-he last joints of the train, when away it went, hissing and snorting 
:brough the quiet country, leaving our party to the undisturbed 
observation of the Handley Cross company. 



OB, MB. JOBBOCKS'S HUNT. 



*9 



CHAPTER X. 

THE CONQUERING HERO'S PUBLIC ENTRY. 

APTAIN DOLE- 
FUL, leaving his 
charger in the 
care of a porter, 
now offered Mrs. 
Jorrocks his arm, 
and walked her 
off to the station- 
house, followed 
by Jorrocks and 
Belinda, amid 
the observations 
and inquiries of 
the numerous 
party ranged out- 
side the barrier. 
The ladies being 
now left to ar- 
range their toi- 
lettes, Jorrocks 
and Doleful 
joined arms in a 

most friendly manner, and strutted back to see about unloading the 
horses, the sack-like figure of the one, contrasting with the thin, 
lathy, mountebank appearance of the other. This being accomplished, 
Ben proceeded to strip off his dirty white great coat, and display his 
fine new sky-blue postilion jacket, patent cords and top-boots, while 
Jorrocks began expatiating to Doleful on the merits of the animals. 

" This 'ere 'oss," says he, rubbing his hand up and down the 
Eoman nose of a great rat-tailed brown, " I've ridden many seasons, 
and he's never given me but one fall, and that was more my fault 
than his. Indeed I may say it was mine entirely. 'Ow's this 
country off for foxes ! Well, you see, I was chiveyin' this 'ere 'oss 
along like wildfire, for it was a most special fine scentin' day — breast- 
high all the way — and Tom Hills, that's our 'untsman, was riding 
wiciously wenomous — by the way that reminds me can you commend 
me to an honest man to buy my forage of ? Well, we blazed down 
Windy Hill, and past Stormey Wood, just as though it were as level 
as this rally, when Joe Crane, thinking to gain a nick, turned for 
Nosterly, and Tom and I rode slap for Guilsborough, where he threw 
a shoe, and I was left alone in my glory. I know'd the country well, 




THE RAT-TAILED BROWN. 



80 HAJSDLEY CROSS; 

and sinkin' the hill, stole down Muddiford Lane, with the pack goin* 
like beans on my left, with only two men within a mile of them, 
barrin' a miller with his sacks, who rode uncommon galvanizingly. 

" Well, thinks I to myself, if they turn by Gatton steep I'll have a 
nick, for though his 'oss was never reglarhj pumped out, yet times 
are when he'd be better of a little more wind, and so as i rode along 
peeping over the 'edge, 'oping every minute to see old Barbican, 
who was leadin' the pack that day, give a bend to my side, ven vot 
should uccur but a gipsy camp half across the lane, and three donkeys, 
two jacks and a jinney, huddled together in the other part so as to 
make a regular barrier, and, by the by, have you read Digby Grand ? 
Grand book it is ; but, however, never mind that at present ; well, 
we were close upon the camp and donkeys afore ever we saw them, 
for it was just at that sharp turn of the road where the waterin' 
trough is — confound them, they always place pikes and troughs in the 
hawkwardest places — and this 'oss though with all his eyes about 
him, was so heager lookin' for the 'ounds, that I'm dashed if he didn't 
come upon them so suddenly that he hadn't time to change his leg or 
do no thing, consequentially he dodged first among the gipsy bairns, 
putting his foot through a mrcepan the old father gipsy was a mend- 
in', and then, fearin' mischief, he flew to the left, and cast me right 
on to the old jinney hass's back, who, risin' at the moment, finished 
the business by kickin' me off into the dirtiest heap of composition 
for turnips I ever smelt in my life — haw, haw, haw ! I really think 
I wind it now. Still the 'oss is a good un — an undeniable good un. 
When he carries me well, I ax's three 'undred for him, at other times 
I'd take thirty. I never grudges money for 'osses. Des-say if all 
the money I've spent first and last were equally distributed among 
them, they wouldn't stand me i' less nor forty pund apiece. 

"This too's a grand nag ! " continued he, taking hold of the ear 
of a stiff bay with white hind legs, and a bang tail — " good at every- 
thing — rides, drives, 'unts, and carries a 'ooman. I call him Xerxes, 
cause as how ven I drives two, as I'm a doin' to-day, he goes leader, 
and in-course the brown, which I calls Jr/er-Xerxes, comes arter 
him ! Both go like the vind — good 'osses ! uncommon good ! rough 
and strong as our four shillin' tea, — Benjamin, mind the traces, — 
and now be after puttin' to, your Missis will be ready by the time 
we get all square ; " and thereupon Mr. Jorrocks began fussing and 
busying himself with the horses and harness, and very soon had Xerxes 
and Arter-Xerxes in their proper places, " tandem fashion." The carriage 
was an old, low, open, double-bodied one, with red and black wheels, 
looking as much like a fire-engine as anything else, especially with the 
Westphalia hams and warming-pan swinging from the bottom like 
buckets. It held four comfortably, or five on a pinch, and the inmates 
were Mr. Jorrocks and his wife, Belinda, and Betsey. It was tremen- 
dously stuffed and hung about with luggage, and at the back was 
attached a most sporting package, consisting of two saddles done up 



OR, MR. JORROCKS'S HUNT. 81 

m a horse-sheeting ; and through the roller which fastened them to 
tne carriage, two stout hunting-whips and a new brass horn were 
thrust. All things being ready, Mr. Jorrocks gave Benjamin a "leg 
up" on to Xerxes, and gathering up the reins of his wheeler in a 
most workmanlike manner, stepped into the vehicle, and preceded 
by Captain Doleful on the white charger, drove up to the station- 
house door, to the infinite delight of all the spectators outside the 
rails, amid the puffings, scrapings, and tootlings of the musicians, the 
pointing of children, the unfurling of flags, and general movement of 
the meeting. 

Mrs. Jorrocks and Belinda had improved the few minutes in the 
station-house, and with the aid of Betsey and a looking-glass had 
rectified the little disorders of the journey. Having cast her sea- 
green wrapper, Mrs. Jorrocks shone forth in a superb scarlet brocade 
pelisse, so bright and dazzling that even in Great Coram Street, or 
St. Pancras Church, it acted as a loadstone on the eyes of the 
beholders, and now in the quiet country was almost overpowering. 
She looked like a full-blown peony. 

Belinda, the young, the fair, the beautiful Belinda, was the picture 
of innocence and health. Her large lustrous blue eyes, with their 
long silken lashes, shone " sweetly lambent " from beneath a drab 
silk drawn bonnet lined with blue, across which a rich black veil was 
thrown ; a smile hovered round her ruby lips, disclosing the beautiful 
regularity of her pearly teeth ; while the late rapid movement through 
the air, joined with the warmth of the station-house, and the excite- 
ment of the scene, had imparted a slight flush to a delicate, but 
beautifully clear complexion. Her shining brown hair, drawn across 
her forehead in the Madonna style, was confined with a narrow band 
of blue velvet, while a rich well-fitting drab silk pelisse displayed the 
symmetry of her exquisitely rounded figure. Her beautifully-formed 
feet were enclosed in well -fitting patent leather shoes, whose ties 
embraced well-turned ankles encased in well-drawn up, white gauze 
silk stockings. 

The station-house and buildings concealing our party from view, 
Mr. Jorrocks had time to make those comfortable dispositions of the 
persons of his suite as are always desirable in public processions, but 
which are sometimes driven out of the heads even of the most 
experienced paraders, by the inquisitive observations of many hundred 
eyes. He now took Belinda upon the draw-out seat between himself 
and Mrs. Jorrocks, while Betsey bundled in behind, among Dundee 
marmalade, sugar loaves, Copenhagen cherry-brandy, and other things. 
Having given a knowing cast over his left shoulder, to see that she 
was right, Mr. Jorrocks cried out, "Now, Binjimin, follow the 
Captain," and giving Arter-Xerxes a touch with the point of the 
whip, passed from the screen formed by the station-house, to the 
folding iron gates at the side, which being thrown open at the 
approach of the Captain, they made a splendid turn off the railway 

5 



n HANDLEY CROSS; 

line into the crowded space outside. " Huzza ! huzza ! huzza ! huzza ! 
huzza ! huzza ! " exclaimed a hundred voices ; " Huzza ! huzza ! " 
responded a hundred more, amid the roll of drums, the puffing of 
the horns, the flapping of the flags, and the waving of handkerchiefs, 
from those whose aristocratic ideas precluded the expression of 
clamorous applause. Doleful stopped Benjamin on the leader, and 
Mr. Jorrocks pulling short up, stood erect in the vehicle, and taking 
off his low-crowned hat, bowed and waved it repeatedly to the company, 
while Mrs. Jorrocks acknowledged the compliment by frequent kisses 
of her hand, and Belinda's face became suffused with blushes at the 
publicity and novelty of her situation. — Having sufficiently exercised 
their lungs, hats began to rest upon their owners' heads, handkerchiefs 
were returned to their pockets, and amid a general buzz and exclama- 
tion of applause, a rush was made at the carriage to get a closer view 
of Belinda. 

" By Jove, what a beautiful girl ! " exclaimed Captain Parkins (a new 
comer) to his friend Mr. Dyneley, eyeing Belinda through his glass. 

" Did you ever see such eyes ? " inquired a second. 

" Handsomest creature I ever beheld ! Fine undulating figure ! " 
observed a third. 

" What a quiz the old girl is ! " remarked another. 

" Is she her daughter ? " inquired a third of Captain Doleful, who 
was busy marshalling the procession. 

" Lots of money I suppose ! " said another. 

" He looks like a rich fellow, with that queer-looking hat of his." 

" The servant girl's not bad-looking." 

"Miss for my money," said another, "I'm in love with her 
already." 

" I wish she'd stand up and let's see her size." 

" I lay a guinea she's a clipper." 

" There's a hand ! I'll be bound for it she has a good foot and 
ankle. None of your hairy-heel'd ones." 

" He looks like a jolly old dog," observed another. " We shall 
have lots of good dinners, I dare say." 

Doleful's face wrinkled into half its usual size with delight, for he 
plainly saw he had made a hit ; and most fortunate were those men who 
had cultivated his friendship through the medium of the subscription 
books at the libraries, for the two-guinea subscribers were immediately 
presented to the trio, while the guinea men were let in at intervals 
as the procession moved along the road. Nor should we omit to 
mention, for the instruction of all other M.C.'s, that thirteen new 
names were put down that evening, so that Doleful's prospects were 
brighter than ever. 

The first burst of applause having subsided, the party got settled 
into the order of the day, as laid down in the programme of the 
worthy M.O. First went the proprietary school children, eighty 
boys, and a hundred and nine girls, three a-breast, with sundry 



OR. MR. JORROCKS'S HUNT. 88 

pocket-handkerchief banners. Next came the "Fox and Floreat 
Scientia " flag, on double poles so as to stretch across the road ; the 
musicians, two drummers, two horn-blowers, two fiddlers, and a fifer, 
were planted behind it ; after which came three glazed calico flags, 
of various colours in stripes, followed by Whackem's mathematical 
seminary, and the rabble at large. Then came another large double flag, 
in broad stripes of scarlet and white, with the words " Jorrocks for 
ever ! " done in blue letters ; Doleful's own place was immediately 
after this, but of course, during the progress to Handley Cross, he 
kept alongside the carriage of the distinguished strangers. The flys, 
gigs, ponies, donkeys, chaises, &c, followed on in a long-drawn line, 
just as they could jostle in, for the Captain knew the high hedges on 
each side of the narrow road would do more towards keeping them 
in order than all the injunctions and remonstrances he could lay down 
or use. 

Mrs. Jorrocks was delighted !— Never before did she think anything 
either of hunting or her husband, but now the former seemed a most 
delightful amusement, and Jorrocks appeared a perfect hero. He 
too was charmed with his reception, and grinned and nudged Belinda 
with his elbow, and cast a sly wink over his shoulder at Betsey, as 
they jumbled along the road, and the compliments of the crowd came 
showering among them. Then he turned his eyes up to heaven as if 
lost in reflection and bewilderment at the honour he had arrived at. 
Anon he caught the point of his whip and dropped it scientifically 
along Arter-Xerxes' side, then he began to whistle, when Captain 
Doleful having resigned the side of the carriage on which Mrs. Jorrocks 
was sitting to Captain Parkins, came round to say a few nothings to 
our worthy friend. 

" Well, Miserrimus," said Jorrocks, opening the conversation as 
though he had known him all his life, " you see I'm down upon you, 
as the extinguisher said to the rush-light — always say you carn't be too 
quick in catchin' a flea.— 'Ow's the Nabob ? n 

" Middling, thank you," again replied the Captain, — " you're look- 
ing uncommonly well, I'm sure," said he, eyeing Mr. Jorrocks as he 
spoke. 

" Oh me ! " replied Jorrocks, " bless yon I'm never bad — never 
'cept I gets a drop too much, as will happen in the best reglated 
families, you know, Miserrimus." Whereupon Mr. Jorrocks, with s 
knowing grin, gave Doleful a dig in the ribs with the butt-end of hih 
whip — saying, " have you got any of that 'cold roast ' you told me 
of in your letter ? " 

" Why no, Mr. Jorrocks, it's all gone, but there's plenty more in 
Handley Cross. It's the best place for beef I know. — Indeed for 
everything." 

"You'll be desperation fond of 'untin' I s'pose," observed Mr. 
Jorrocks, after a slight pause, flourishing his whip over his head, and 
giving a knowing look at- Doleful's accoutrements. 

H 2 



84 RA1SDLEY CROSS; 

" It's the only thing worth living for in my mind," replied Captain 
Doleful. 

" By jingo ! so say I," rejoined Mr. Jorrocks ; " all time's lost that'i 
not spent in 'untin'. — Give us your hand, Miserrimus, my louy, for 
you must be a trump — a man after my own 'eart ! " and thereupon 
Jorrocks gave him such a shaking as nearly sent him off his horse. 

* That'll be your kiver 'ack I presume," observed Mr. Jorrocks 
after their hands were released, as he cast an eye at the white. " He 
goes hup and down like a yard and a 'alf of pump water." 

Doleful did not know whether this was meant as a compliment or 
otherwise, so he " grinned horridly a ghastly smile," and asked Mr. 
Jorrocks if he was fond of music. " Music ! " said Mr. Jorrocks, " yes, 
the music of the 'ounds — none o' your tamboureenin' work. Give 
me the real ongh, ough, ough, of a fine deep-toned 'ound in the depths 
of a rocky dell, as he drags up to old Reynard among the brush- 
wood," and as he spoke, Mr. Jorrocks snuffed the air and threw his 
head about as though he were feeling for a scent himself, — " What 
lort of fencin' have you ? " 

" Fencing ! " repeated Captain Doleful thoughtfully — " fencing, 
vhy we've had none, I think, since the theatre closed." 

" Humph ! " mused Mr, Jorrocks, " that's queer — never knew a 
j>lay-actor in my life with the slightest turn for 'untin'." 

The foremost in the procession having now reached the outskirts of 
the town, a halt was made to allow the pedestrians to knock the dust 
off their shoes, and get their voices ready for shouting. Doleful rode 
along the line exhorting them to order and regularity, and directing 
the streets through which the procession should pass, taking particu- 
lar care to keep wide of the Barningtons. A considerable accession 
was here made to their strength by numerous groups of ladies and 
gentlemen, who, attracted by the fineness of the day, and a little 
natural curiosity, had wandered out to see what sort of an animal a 
Cockney master of hounds was. Miss Prim and Miss Prosey's 
seminaries too turned out in their pink and blue ginghams, and came 
up just at the period of the halt, — all the grooms and helpers of the 
town who could not get to the station now flocked to swell the 
throng. The hubbub and confusion was excessive, and they pushed 
and elbowed, and fought to get near the carriage to have a close view 
of Mr. Jorrocks. " My eyes but he's a fat un ! " exclaimed Mr. 
Brisket, the butcher, to his foreman, " it would be a downright 
credit to a butcher to supply such a gent. : can't be less nor three 
inches o' fat on his rib ; " whereupon he thrust a card into Mr. 
Jorricks' hand, containing his name, trade, and place of abode. This 
was a signal for the rest, and immediately a shoal of cards were 
tendered from persons of all callings and professions. Lucy Sandey 
would mangle, wash, and clear-starch ; then Hannah Pye kept the 
best potatoes and green-groceries in general ; Tom Hardy supplied 
milk at all hours ; George Dodd let donkeys by the day or hour \ 



OR, MR. JORROCKS'S EUNT. %l 

Samuel Mason offered the card of the Bramber livery stables, where 
there was a lock-up coach-house ; Susan Muddle hoped the ladies 
would drink with her at the Spa at a shilling a week, and glass found. 
Then there was a wine-merchant's card, followed by lodging-house 
keepers' without end, and a chimney-sweep's." 

All in advance being now ready, Captain Doleful came grinning 
and capering through the crowd, and announced to the ladies that 
they were about to enter the town, and informed Mr. Jorrocks that 
they would first of all proceed to the Dragon Hotel, from the balcony 
of which it would have a good effect if he would address the meeting. 
Without waiting for Mr. Jorrocks' assurance that he "didn't know 
what to say," he placed himself in advance of Benjamin, and raised 
his hunting-whip as a signal to the musicians, who immediately 
struck up " See the conquering hero comes," and the cavalcade pro- 
ceeded. The boom of the drums, the twang of the horns, and the 
shouts of the children brought every human being to the doors, 
windows, and verandahs, and there was such running, and rushing, 
and righting to see the conquering hero, and such laughing among 
the servant-maids at the ample dimensions of his shoulders, with aa 
many observations upon his retinue, as would fill a chapter of them- 
selves. 

After passing the long line of villas that stud the road in the Mount 
Sion direction, the cavalcade turned into Arthur Street, where the 
noise and bustle increased tenfold. Shop-lads, no longer to be 
restrained, rushed out in defiance of their masters' halloas, some 
hastily putting up the shutters, others leaving the shops to take care 
of themselves. Bazaars, fancy shops, jewellers', &c, were drawn of 
both buyers and sellers ; and as the " Floreat Scientia " banner 
rounded the turn into High Street, an advancing mob from the other 
end of the town charged with such vigour as sent both poles through 
Stevenson the hatter's window, damaging a dozen pasteboard boxes, 
being the principal part of his stock in trade. Nothing was heard 
above the clamour but the boom of the drums, and the occasional twang 
of a horn, while Captain Dolef ul's red coat, and his horse's bowing 
white head, seemed borne upon the shoulders of the multitude. Thus 
they proceeded in stately array down High Street, and neared the 
Dragon Hotel. 

At length they got the carriage up to the arched door, and the 
party alighted amid a tremendous burst of applause. Captain Doleful 
having tendered his arm to Mrs. Jorrocks, Belinda took her uncle's, 
and no sooner did Betsey get out of the back seat of the carriage 
than a whole host of little dirty boys scrambled in to obtain a better 
v iew, making desperate havoc among the Dundee marmalade, and 
Copenhagen cherry-brandy, to the infinite indignation of Benjamin, 
who roared lustily from the leader that he would " oss-vip 'em " all 
round. 



86 BANDLEY CROSS; 

CHAPTER XI. 

THE ORATIONS. 

Snubbins, the landlord, having ushered his distinguished guests 
into the balconied apartment of the first-floor front, Captain Doleful 
took a hasty review of his person at the looking-glass, placing his 
straggling hairs in the most conspicuous manner over his forehead, and, 
loosening his oilskin-covered hat from his scarlet coat, he advanced 
with out-squared toes and elbows to present himself to the notice of 
the meeting. 

His appearance in the balcony was the signal for a universal roar, 
amid which, the drums and wind instruments did their duty. After 
bowing and grimacing most condescendingly to the meeting below, 
silence was at length obtained, and he proceeded to address them as 
follows :— 

" Ladies and gentlemen, — ladies and gentlemen," he repeated, 
laying the emphasis on the word ladies, and grinning like an elderly 
ape on all around, " encouraged by your smiles, by your applause, 
for, without you, as the poet Campbell beautifully inquires, ' What is 
man ? — a world without a sun,' I present myself to your notice to 
perform an act that I verily and conscientiously believe will prove 
most conductive to the interest, the happiness, and general welfare of 
this thriving and important town." Here the Captain placed his 
forefinger on his lip, and, according to previous arrangement with the 
drummers, they rumbled with their drums, and the children gave 
some loud huzzas, in conjunction with such of the mob as were 
troubled with a turn for shouting. u Ladies and gentlemen," he 
resumed, " I stand not here for the gratification of the paltry 
personal vanity of addressing this distinguished assembly, but I 
present myself to your notice, in discharge of the high, the onerous, 
the honourable and all-important office of Master of the Ceremonies 
of this renowned Spa, to introduce to your notice the most distin- 
guished, the most determined, the most popular,^ and the most 
scientific sportsman England, or any other country, ever saw (loud 
cheers). Need I say, gentlemen, that this illustrious individual is the 
great and renowned Mr. Jorrocks — a name familiar to our ears as Mr. 
Dickens's household words — so familiar that it is even chalked on the 
walls of our town ; and it is indeed a high — a flattering circumstance 
to my mind, that I — even I — the humble individual who now stand* 
before you, should have been the means of procuring for a town that 
i love so ardently, a man of such unequalled excellence and such dis- 
tinguished worth." 

Here Doleful being rather blown, put his finger to his lip again, 
upon which the drums rumbled, the horns twanged, and a round of 




OW ARE Yti ALL? 



OH, Mtt. JORftOCKS'S HUNT. 87 

Applause was brewed up. He resumed, — "Gentlemen, the temporary 
cloud that obscured the brightness of our delightful town has passed 
away ! another and a brighter sun has risen, beneath whose fostering 
rays, prosperity — bright, unequalled prosperity — shall renovate our 
homes, and draw forth blessings from your grateful hearts (cheers). 
This, gentlemen, is a thought that repays me for a world of trouble, 
and believe me that in all the changes and chances of this eventful 
life, amid all the frowns of life's vicissitudes, the bright recollection 
of this hour will furnish consolation that a thousand woes will not 
outweigh (great applause). Let me not, however, ladies and gentle- 
men, dwell too long on the part I have happily, but unworthily played 
in this transaction. Let me not stand between that bright constella- 
tion of sporting knowledge and the indulgence of your laudable 
curiosity. Rather let me withdraw, with a bosom o'erflowing with 
heart-felt gratitude for the honours your kindness has heaped upon 
me, and introduce to your notice our great and illustrious stranger." 
Here Doleful squared out his elbows and bowed most humbly and 
condescendingly, first to the front, then to the east and west, and, 
courtier-like, backed from the balcony into the room, amid loud and 
long-continued cheers. 

While he was delivering himself of all this eloquence, Mrs. Jorrocks 
was busy inside the room preparing her husband for presentation to 
the meeting. Having made him take off his versatio coat, she 
brushed his blue under one over, rubbed the velvet collar right, put 
his wig straight, and wiped the dust off his Hessian boots with a 
corner of the table-cover. Doleful came backing in, and nearly up- 
set Jorrocks as he was standing on one leg by the table, undergoing 
the latter operation. " Now, it's your turn, Mr. Jorrocks," observed 
the Captain, on the former recovering his equilibrium, and there- 
upon they joined hands and advanced into the balcony, like the 
Siamese twins, amid the uproarious applause of the meeting. 

" 'Ow are ye all ? " said Mr. Jorrocks with the greatest familiarity, 
nodding round to the meeting, and kissing his hand. " 'Opes you 
are well. Now my frind, Miserrimus, having spun you a yarn about 
who I am, and all that sort of thing, I'll not run his foil, but get 
upon fresh ground, and say a few words about how matters are to be 
managed. 

" You see I've come down to ^unt your country, to be master of 
your 'ounds, in fact, — and first of all I'll explain to you what /means 
by the word master. Some people call a man a master of 'ounds wot 
sticks an 'orn in his saddle, and blows w T hen he likes, but leaves 
every thing else to the 'untsman. That's not the sort of master of 
'ounds I mean to be. Others call a man a master of 'ounds w r ot puts 
in the paper Mr. So-and-so's 'ounds meet on Monday, at the Loin o' 
Lamb ; on Wednesday, at the Brisket o' Weal ; and on Saturday, at 
the Frying-pan ; and after that, jest goes out or not, as suits his 
conwenience — but that's not the sort of master of 'ounds I means to 



88 BANDLET CROSS; 

be. Again, some cali themselves masters of 'ounds when they pay 
the difference atwixt the subscription and the cost, leaving the 
management of matters, the receipt of money, payment of damage, 
and all them sort of partiklars, to the secretary. But that's not the 
sort of master o' 'ounds I means to be. Still, I means to ride with 
an 'orn in my saddle. Yonder it is, see," said he, pointing to the 
package behind the carriage, " a regler Percival, silver mouth-piece, 
deep cup'd — and I means to adwertise the 'ounds in the paper, and 
not go sneakin' about like some of them beggarly Cockney 'unts, wot 
look more as if they were goin' to rob a hen-roost than 'unt a fox, 
but bavin' fixed the meets, I shall attend them most punctual and 
regler, and take off my cap to all payin 1 subscribers as they come up 
(cheers). This, I thinks, will be the best way of doin' business, for 
there are some men wot don't care a copper for owin' the master 
money, so long as the matter rests atwixt themselves, and yet who 
would not like to see me sittin' among my 'ounds with my cap 
slouched over my eyes, takin' no more notice of them than if they 
were as many pigs, as much as to say to all the gemmen round, 
'these are the nasty, dirty, seedy screws wot don't pay their 
subscriptions.' 

" In short I means to be an M. P. H. in reality, and not in name. 
When I sees young chaps careering o'er the country without lookin* 
at the 'ounds, and in all humane probability not knowin' or carin' a 
copper where they are, and I cries, ' 'old 'ard ! ' I shall expect to 
see them pull up, and not wait till the next fence fetches them too." 

Here Mr. Jorrocks made a considerable pause, whereupon the 
cheering and drumming was renewed, and as it died away, he went 
on as follows : — 

" Of all sitivations under the sun, none is more enviable or more 
'onerable than that of a master of fox'ounds ! Talk of a M.P. ! vot's 
an M.P. compared to an M. F. H.? Your M.P. lives in a tainted 
hatmosphere among other M.P.'s and loses his consequence by the 
commonness of the office, and the scoldings he gets from those who 
sent him there, but an M. F. H. holds his levee in the stable, his 
levee in the kennel, and his levee in the 'untin' field — is great and 
important every where — has no one to compete with him, no one to 
find fault, but all join in doing honour to him to whtm honour is so 
greatly due (cheers). And oh, John Jorrocks ! my good frind," 
continued the worthy grocer, fumbling the silver in his small clothes 
with upturned eyes to heaven, " to think that you, after all the hups 
and downs of life — the crossin's and jostlin's of merchandise and 
ungovernable trade — the sortin' of sugars — the mexin' of teas — the 
postin' of ledgers, and handlin' of inwoices, to think that you, my 
dear feller, should have arrived at this distinguished post, is most 
miraculously wonderful, most singularly queer. Gentlemen, this is 
the proudest moment of my life ! (cheers). I've now reached the 
top-rail in the ladder of my hambition I (renewed cheers). Bin- 



OR, MR. JORROCKS'S HUNT. 89 

jimin ! " he holloaed out to the boy below, " Bmjimin ! I say, give 
an eye to them ere harticles behind the chay — the children are all 
among the Copenhagen brandy and Dundee marmeylad ! Vy don't 
you vollop them ? Vere's the use of furnishing you with a whip, I 
wonder ? 

" To resume," said he, after he had seen the back of the carriage 
cleared of the children, and the marmalade and things put straight. 
" 'Untin', as I have often said, is the sport of kings — the image of 
war without its guilt, and only five-and-twenty per cent, of its 
danger. To me the clink of the couples from a vipper-in's saddle is 
more musical than any notes that ever came out of Greasey's mouth 
(cheers). I doesn't wish to disparage the walue of no man, but this I 
may say, that no Nabob that ever was foaled, loves 'untin' better 
than me (cheers). It's the werry breath of my body ! The liver 
and bacon of my existence ! I doesn't know what the crazeyologists 
may say, but this I believes that my 'ead is nothin' but one great 
bump of 'untin' (cheers). 'Untin' fills my thoughts by day, and 
many a good run I have in my sleep. Many a dig in the ribs I 
gives Mrs. J. when I think they're runnin' into the warmint 
(renewed cheers). No man is fit to be called a sportsman wot 
doesn't kick his wife out of bed on a haverage once in three weeks ! 
(applause, mingled with roars of laughter). I'm none of your fine, 
dandified Rotten-row swells, that only ride out to ride 'ome again, 
but I loves the smell of the mornin' hair, and the werry mud on my 
tops when I comes home of an evenin' is dear to my 'eart (cheers). 
Oh, my frinds ! if I could but go to the kennel now, get out the 
'ounds, find my fox, have a good chivey, and kill him, for no day is 
good to me without blood, I'd— I'd — I'd — drink three pints of port 
after dinner 'stead of two ! (loud cheers). That's the way to show 
Diana your gratitude for favours past, and secure a continuance of 
her custom in future (cheers). But that we will soon do, for if 
you've — 

" ! Osses sound, and dogs 'ealthy, 

Earths well-stopped, and foxes plenty,' 

no longer shall a master be wantin' to lead you to glory (loud cheers). 
I'll not only show you how to do the trick in the field, but a scientific 
course o' lectors shall train the young idea in the art at 'ome. I've 
no doubt we shall all get on capitally — fox 'unters are famous fellows 
— tell me a man's a fox-hunter, and I loves him at once. We'll soon 
get quainted, and then you'll say that John Jorrocks is the man for 
your money. At present I've done — hoping werry soon to meet you 
all in the field — I now says adieu." 

Hereupon Mr. Jorrocks bowed, and kissing his hand, backed out 
of the balcony, leaving his auditory to talk him over at theii 
leisure. 



90 



HANDLEY CBOSS ; 



CHAPTER XII. 




"APTAIN DOLEFUL ARRIVES TO DINNER. 



CAPTAIN DOLEFUL AGAIN. — A FAMILY DINNER. 

HEN Mr. Jor- 
rocks backed 
from the bal- 
cony into the 
"Moon," after 
delivering the 
luminous ad- 
dress reported 
in our last 
chapter, Cap- 
tain Doleful 
looked at his 
watch and 
found it 
wanted but 
ten minutes 
to the time he 
was to appear 
at the board 

of her imperial majesty, Mrs. Barningtoii ; so ringing for Mr. Snub- 
bins, the landlord, he hastily consigned the party to his protection, 
and, quitting the room, ran through the town like a lamplighter, to 
re-arrange his toilette at his lodgings. Off went the old militia coat, 
the white moleskins and Hessians made way with pantomimic quick- 
ness for a black coat and trousers, which with a shrivelled white 
waistcoat, and a pair of broad-stringed pumps, completed the revised 
edition of the arbiter elegantiarum of Handley Cross Spa. The crowded 
incidents of the hour left no time for reflection, and fortunate, perhaps, 
it was for the Captain, that he had no time to consider of what had taken 
place, or even his creative genius might have discovered some little dif- 
ficulty in reconciling the discrepancies that existed between his profes- 
sions and performances. So quick, however, were his movements, and 
the transition of events, that John Trot, the under butler, who was one 
of the audience before the "Dragon," had not time to detail the doings 
of the day to Mr. Mountford, the butler, to tell Mrs. Stumps, the 
housekeeper, for the information of Bandoline, to carry in broken 
English to her mistress, ere Captain Doleful's half resolute tap of a 
knock announced his arrival at the door. 

" Why here's eld Wo-begone himself, I do believe ! " exclaimed 
John, breaking off in his narrative at the intrusion of the flag-poles 
into Stevenson the hatter's window. "It is, indeed," added he, 
casting his eye up the area-grating at the Captain, as he stood above ; 



OR, MR. JORROCKS'S HUNT. 91 

" I declare he has peeled off his uniform and come like a Christian. 
Dirty dog, he can't have washed himself, for I saw him bolt out of 
the ' Dragon ' not three minutes afore I left, and I only looked in 
at the ' Phoenix and Flower Pot,' and took one glass of hot elder 
wine, and came straight home ; " saying which, John, in the absence 
of Sam, the footman, settled himself leisurely into his coatee, and pro- 
ceeded to let the Captain into the house. 

"The dog's come to dine," said John, on his return, "and precious 
hungry he is, I dare say, for he don't allow himself above two feeds a 
week they say. However, I gave him a bit of consolation, by telling 
him that missis had laid down at four o'clock, with orders not to be 
disturbed, and therefore it might be eight or nine o'clock before they 
dined ; but ' Sir,' says I, * there's the Morning Post,' so I left him to 
eat that, and precious savage he looked. Now, I declare on the 
honour of a gentleman, of all the shabby screws I ever came thwart 
of in the whole of my professional career, that Doleful is the dirtiest 
and meanest. T'other night it was raining perfect wash-hand-stand 
basins full, and after sitting master out to bed, and missis until she 
began to yawn, he mustered courage to do the expensive, and asked 
me to fetch him a fly. Well, never had I seen the colour of his coin, 
often and often as he has darkened our door, and come with his nasty 
jointed clogs, dirty cloaks, and wet numbrellas ; but thinks I to 
myself, this surely will be catching time, and it 'ill all come in a 
heap in the shape of a golden sovereign pound cake ; so out I splashed, 
silks and all, the first day on, too, and brought up Sam Fletcher's 
yellow with the grey ; skipped up-stairs, told him all was ready, 
handed him his hat, upon which I saw him fumbling in his upper 
pocket ; he stepped into the fly, and just as I closed the door, 
slipped something into my hand — felt small — half sov., better than 
nothing, thought I — ' thank you, sir, Miss Jelly's,' cried I to Master 
Sam ; off he went, in comes I, looks in my hand — hang me, if it 
wer'n't a Joey ! " 

" That beats everything ! " exclaimed Mr. Mountford, the butler, 
laying down a handful of spoons he had been counting over ; " why 
do you know he gave me one the very same day, and it lies on the 
entrance table now, to let him see how little we care for Joeys in our 
house." 

"Who's that you're talking about?" inquired Mrs. Stumps, whose 
room being on the other side of the passage from the butler's pantry, 
enabled her to hold a dialogue without the trouble of moving herself 
across, she having been selected on account of her fatness and the 
volubility of her tongue. 

" Only old Lamentable," replied Mr. Trot ; " what do you think the 
fellow's done now ? — complimented Mr. Mountford and myself with 
a Joey a-piece. Stop till I catch him with a decent coat on, and see 
if I don't dribble the soup or melted butter over it." 

" Confound the mean dog," observed Mrs. Stumps, " he's the most 



9i HANDLE Y CROSS; 

miserable man that ever was seen. I do wonder that missis, with aii 
her fine would-be-fashionable airs, countenances such a mean sneak. 
Master may be dull, and I dare say he is, but he's a prince compared 
to old Doleful." 

" Master's soft" replied Mr. Mountford thoughtfully, " and he's 
hard too in some things, but there are many worse men than he. 
Besides, the wife's enough to drive him mad. She's a terrible tartar" 

" She's in one of her tantrums's to-day," observed Mrs. Stumps, 
" and has had Mademoiselle crying all the morning. She's tried on 
thirteen dresses already and none will please her. It will be eight 
o'clock very likely before they dine, and that reminds me she had 
two notes this morning by post — one was from Lady Gillyfield, and 
Sam thought he saw something about dining, and staying all night, 
as he took it up-stairs, so just you keep your ears open at dinner, and 
find out the day, as I want to have a few friends to cards and a 
quadrille the first time the family go from home." 

" Oh, I dare say I can acquaint you all about it without waiting 
for dinner," observed Mr. Mountford. " Sam, just step into the 
clothes-room, and feel in B.'s brown frock-coat that he had on this 
morning, and bring me his letters." Sam obeyed, and speedily re- 
turned with three. Mr. Mountford took them, and casting an ad- 
hesiv'd one aside, as either a " bill or a begging letter," opened a fine 
glazed note with blue edges, sealed with a transfixed heart on green 
wax : — " Monday, at ten, at the ' Apollo Belvidere,' " was all it con- 
tained, and winking at Sam, who winked at John Trot, who passed 
the wink to Mrs. Stumps, Mr. Mountford refolded the note, and 
opened the one from Sir Gibeon Gillyfield, which contained a press- 
ing invitation for the Friday following, to make one at a battu on 
the Saturday. 

"You must find out whether they go or not," observed Mrs. Stumps ; 
" they will be sure to say something about it at dinner, so mind be 
on the look-out. There's missis's bell ! my stars, how she rings ! 
wouldn't be near her for the world." — A perfect peal ! 

After Doleful had had a good spell at the " Post," beginning with 
the heading and ending with the printer's name at the end, Mr. Bar- 
nington made his appearance from his room below, where he had 
been deceiving himself into the belief that he was reading, and saluted 
the M.C. in the way that a man generally takes his wife's friends 
when he does not like her. After exchanging a few nothings, he 
looked with an air of easy indifference round the room, then at the 
French clock on the mantel-piece, next at his watch to see that it was 
not wrong, and finally composed himself cross-legged into a lowdouro 
with massive cushions at the back and sides. Doleful resumed his 
seat on the sofa. Thus they sat for half an hour, listening to the 
tickings of the time-piece, looking alternately at each other and the 
door. Seven o'clock came and no Mrs. Barnington, then the quarter 
chimed in that concise sort of way, that almost says, " Oh, it's only 



OR, MR. JORROCKS'S HUNT. »? 

the quarter 1 " the half hour followed with a fuller chorus and more 
substantial music, whereupon Barnington, who was beginning to be 
hungry, looked indignantly at his watch and the door, then at Doleful, 
but wisely said nothing. Doleful, who had only treated himself to a 
penny bun since breakfast, was well-nigh famished, and inwardly 
wished he had palmed himself off on the Jorrocks's ; when just as 
the time-piece was chiming away at a quarter to eight, a page in a 
green and gold uniform threw open the door, and in sallied the 
majestic Mrs. Barnington in lavender-coloured satin. With a slight 
inclination of her head to the Captain, who was up like an arrow to 
receive her, and a look of contempt at her husband, she seated herself 
on an ottoman, and glancing at a diminutive watch in her armlet, and 
seeing it corresponded with the time on the mantel-piece, without a 
word of apology for keeping them waiting, she hurried off the page 
to order dinner instantly. 

Just as Mrs. Barnington was desiring Doleful to ring the bell to 
see why dinner was not ready, Mr. Mountford, with great state, and 
an air of the most profound respect, walked into the centre of the 
room, and announced that it was on the table, when, backing out, 
and leaving the page in charge of the door, he returned to the parlour 
to twist a napkin round his thumb, and place himself before the 
centre of the side-board to be ready to raise the silver cover from the 
soup tureen, and hand it to John Trot, to pass to Sam, to place on 
*he tray the instant the party were seated. Mrs. Barnington, with an 
air of languid absence, mechanically placed her hand on Doleful's arm, 
and sailed down the thickly-carpeted staircase, past the footmen in the 
entrance, and dropt into a many-cushioned chair at the head of the 
table. Doleful seated himself at the side opposite the fire, and Bar- 
nington of course took his place at the foot of the table. Soup and a 
glass of sherry passed round amid the stares and anxious watchings of 
the servants, before anything like a conversation was commenced, for 
Barnington was not a man of many words at any time, and fear of his 
wife and dislike of Doleful now sealed his lips entirely. Several indif- 
ferent topics were tried during the fish, alternately by Mrs. Barnington 
and Doleful. — The weather — the " Morning Post " — the last elope- 
ment — somebody's band — the new French milliner, when, gathering 
up her napkin, and giving her head a toss in the air, she observed, in 
a careless easy sort of way, " By the by, Captain Doleful, I forgot to 
ask you if those Horrocks people arrived to-day ? " 

"Oh yes, marm, they came," replied the Captain, with uneasiness 
on his brow, for he saw " Mountford & Co." were all eyes and ears to 
catch what he said. — " A little malt liquor, if you please. Do you 
get your malt of Dobbs ? " inquired he of Barnington, making a 
desperate effort to turn the conversation at the outset, the only chance 
of effecting it ; "if you don't," observed he, " there's a capital fellow 
come from Mortlake in Surrey, to establish an agency here for the 
sale of the same sort of beer the Queen drinks, and apropos of that, 



94 HANDLEY CBOSS ; 

Mrs. Barnington, perhaps you are not aware that her Majesty is fi© 
truly patriotic as to indulge in the juice of the hop — takes it at 
luncheon, I understand, in a small silver cup, a present from the 
Prince, with the lion aud the unicorn fighting for the crown, beauti- 
fully raised in dead gold upon it, made by Hunt and Roskill, who 
certainly have more taste in trinkets, and articles of verlu, than all 
the rest of London put together, — but this beer is very good — clear 
— amber and hoppy," added he, drinking it off, hoping to drown old 
Jorrocks, wife, niece, and all, in the draught. 

" Who is Horrocks, that you were asking about, my dear ? " 
inquired Barnington of his wife, for the purpose of letting Doleful 
see he didn't consider him worth answering, and not from any 
motives of curiosity, — an infirmity from which he was perfectly free. 

"Only some people the Captain and I were talking about this 
morning, my love, that were expected from London. They are not 
come, you say ? " added she, turning to the Captain. 

" Oh yes, marni, I said they ivere come. Allow me the honour of 
taking wine with you ? Do you take champagne ? Champagne to 
your mistress," looking at Mr. Mountford. Mountford helped them 
accordingly, giving the Captain as little as possible. 

" Well, and what sort of people are they ? " resumed Mrs. 
Barnington, setting down her glass, and looking at Doleful as much 
as to say, " come, no nonsense, out with it." 

" Upon my word I can hardly give an opinion, for I saw so little 
of them ; but I should say from what little I did see, that they are 
very respectable — that's to say (haw, ha, hem), people well to do in 
the world (hem). He seems an uncommonly good-natured old 
fellow — rattles and talks at a tremendous rate ; but really I can 
hardly fairly give an opinion upon their other qualifications from the 
very little I saw." 

" How many carriages had they ? " inquired Mrs. Barnington. 

" One, with a pair, but they came by the train ; they will probably 
have more coming by the road." 

" Many servants ? " 

" Not many, I think. Perhaps they are coming by the road too." 

"What are the women like ? " 

"The old lady seems a monstrous good-natured, round-about, 
motherly sort of body, neither very genteel nor yet altogether vulgar 
— a fair average woman in fact — charitable, flannel-petticoat, soup- 
kitchen sort of woman. — This is capital mutton — never tasted better. 
By the way, Mr. Barnington, did you ever eat any Dartmoor mutton ? 
it certainly is the best and sweetest in the world, and this is as like it 
as anything can possibly be." 

" No," was all the answer Mr. Barnington vouchsafed our hero, 
who, bent on turning the conversation, and nothing disconcerted, 
immediately addressed himself to his hostess, with "Beautiful part 
of the country — fine scenery — should like to live there — people so 



OB, MR. JORROCKS'S HUNT. 



96 



unaffected and hospitable — ask you to dine and sleep — no puddling 
jour way home through dirty lanes in dark nights. The view from 
iEther rocks on the edge of Dunmore, most magnificent — there's a 
fine one also on the road between Exeter and Tiverton— and near 
Honiton too — what food that country would afford your splendid 
pencil, Mrs. Barnington. I know no one so competent to do justice 
to the scenery as yourself," and thereupon the Captain puckered hw 
face into one of his most insinuating grins. Mrs. Barnington went 
on eating her "vol au vent" inwardly resolving to know all about 
the Jorrocks's, without compromising one jot of her dig;aity. 

The conversation then took a brisk and rapid range over many 
topics and to divers places — Bath, Cheltenham, Brighton, Tunbridge 
Wells, were all visited in succession, but at last Mrs. Barnington 
fairly landed the Captain back at Hanley Cross. " I suppose we shall 
be having a ball here soon, sharn't we, Captain ? " inquired she. 
" That depends upon Mrs. Barnington," replied the obsequious M. C. 
in the humblest tone. " If you are so disposed there's no doubt of 
our having one. My ball at present stands first on the list, and that 
will take place to-morrow fortnight." 

" Oh, I forgot your ball entirely — true — oh dear, no ! I shouldn't 
wish for one before that— it might interfere with yours. Of course 
you will send me five tickets." 

The Captain bowed profoundly, for this as much as said there 
would be a five-pound note coming. " I hope you will have a good 
one," added she. " There will most probably be some new comers by 
that time to amuse one with their strange faces and queer ways. — 1 
wonder if the Horrocks's will go ? " 

The idea at that moment flashed across the Captain's mind too, and 
a prophetic thought assuring him they would, he determined to 
grapple with the subject instead of fighting shy, and ventured boldly 
to predict they would, and once more essayed to smooth their passage 
to Mrs. Barnington's patronage. 

" Oh, I have no earthly objection to them, I assure you, I can have 
none to people I never either saw or heard of. Of course, if they 
have letters of introduction I shall call upon them — if not, and 
you assure me, or rather convince me, of their respectability, I 
shall notice them the same as I do other people who come here as 
strangers." 

"Very much obliged indeed," replied the Captain, feeling all 
the time that he was "thanking her for nothing." — "They are, I 
believe, highly respectable. She, I understand, is the daughter of a 
gentleman who was about the court of King George the Third. The 
young lady is very pretty, and Jorrocks himself really seems a very 
excellent old fellow." 

"What, you are talking about Mr. Jorrocks, are you ? " inquired 
Mr. Barnington, looking up from his "omelette" with an fiir of 
audden enlightenment on his countenance. 



W 



H AND LEY CROSS 



" Why yes, Solomon ! " replied his loving spouse, " who did you 
think we were talking about ? " 

" Why you called them Horrocks ! how was I to know who you 
meant ? " 

" How were you to know who we meant ? why what matter does it 
make whether you know or not ? Take the cheese away, Mountford, 
and don't make this room smell like a beer-shop." 

" Stay ! I want some," interposed Mr. Barnington. 

" Then take it into your master's room," replied Mrs. Barnington. 
"Go and stuff yourself there as much as you like ; and send for your 
friend Horrocks, or Jorrocks, or whatever you call him, to keep you 
company." 

And after an evening of this agreeable dog and cat-ing, varied with 
occasional intercessions for the Jorrocks family, the gallant Captain 
at length made his adieus and retired to his confectioners'. 

We will now see what our newly arrived friends are about. 



CHAPTER XIII. 



MR. JORROCKS AND HIS SECRETARY. 




MR. JORROCKS THINKS HE WILL 
SHOOT DOLEFUL. 



"SEND my Sec. here," said Mr. 
Jorrocks, with great dignity, to 
Snubbins, the landlord of the 
Dragon ; who, in compliance with 
Doleful's directions, was waiting to 
receive his orders. " Send my Sec. 
here," he repeated, seeing the man 
did not catch what he said. 

"Your Sec, sir," repeated the 
landlord, " it'll be your boy, I pre- 
sume ? " turning to the waiter, 
and desiring him to send the ostler 
to stand by the horses' heads while 
Mr. Jorrocks's boy came upstairs. 

" No, not my lony," replied Mr. 
Jorrocks with a frown, "so you 
presumes wrong." 

"Your maid, then?" inquired 
the sharp waiter, thinking to hit 
what his master had missed. 

" No, nor my maid neither," was 
the worthy grocer's answer — 



" what I want is my Sec, the Secretary to my 'unt in fact." 
" Oh ! the Secretary to the hunt, that will be Mr. Flcecea* 



re- 



OR, MR. JORROCKS' S HUNT. 97 

joined the landlord with a grin of satisfaction. — " Run up to Lavender 
Lane, and tell Mr. Fleeccall that Mr. Jorrocks has arrived, and wishes 
to see him." 

"Tell him to come directly" said Mr. Jorrocks, adding, in a 
mutter, " I dosen't understand why he's not here to receive me. 
Fatch me up a glass of cold sherry negus ivith. — Public speakin' 
makes one werry dry." 

Before the with was well dissolved, so as to enable our hero tt 
quench his thirst at a draught, our one-eyed friend entered the room, 
hat in hand, and presented himself to Mr. Jorrocks. 

" Now I wants to see you about my 'ounds," said Mr. Jorrocks, 
with an air of authority. — " Where are they ? " 

" Some, I believe, are in the kennel, others are in the Yale with 
the various farmers," replied Mr. Fleeceall. 

"Some in the Wale !" repeated Mr. Jorrocks with surprise, "vy 
arn't they all in kennel ? you surely knew I was a comin', and ought 
not to have had things in this hugger-mugger state. — Whose fault is 
it ? Where's the kennel-book ? " 

" The kennel-book ? " repeated Mr. Fleeceall with surprise. 

" Yes, the kennel-book, you know what that is surely — the list of 
the 'ounds in fact." 

" Oh, I beg your pardon — I don't think there is any regular kennel- 
book — at least I never had one — all that / do, is to receive the sub- 
scriptions, — write to gentlemen that are in arrear, or are likely to 
subscribe, — tax poultry bills, — and prevent extortion in general." 

"Well, all werry useful in its way," replied Mr. Jorrocks, "but a 
secretary to an 'unt is expected to know all about the 'ounds too, and 
everything besides — at least he's no Sec. for me if he don't," added he, 
his eyes sparkling with animation as he spoke. 

" Oh, I do," replied Mr. Fleeceall with trepidation, " only Captain 
Doleful has had all our people so busy, preparing for your reception, 
that we really have not been able at so short a notice to make 
our arraugements so perfect as we could wish. I know all the hounds 
well" 

" Then put on your 'at and come with me to the kennel. It's full 
moon to-night, so we needn't mind about time." 

Fleeceall hesitated, but seeing Mr. Jorrocks was resolute, he put a 
good face on the matter, and boldly led the way. As he piloted Mr. 
Jorrocks through sundry short cuts, he contrived to insinuate, in a 
casual sort of way, that things would not be in such apple-pie order 
as he might expect, but that a day or two would" put everything right 
Calling at Mat Maltby's for the key of the kennel, he enlisted young 
Mat into the service, desiring him to stand by and prompt him what 
to say ; he very soon had the new master before the rails of the 
kennel. The hounds raised a melodious cry as they jumped against 
the paling, or placed themselves before the door, and anger flew from 
Mr. Jorrocks's mind at the cheerful sound. " Get back, hounds ! get 

I 2 



98 HANDLEY CROSS; 

bach i Bonney-bell, have a care ! " cried Mat, as they pushed against 
the door, and prevented its opening. " Perhaps you'll take a switch, 
sir," said he, turning to Mr. Jorrocks, and handing a hazel-rod from 
a line hanging on the rails beside the door. " Get bade, hounds ! " 
again he cried, and inserting his right hand with a heavy double- 
thonged whip through an aperture between the door and the post, he 
loosened the thong and sweeping it round among their legs, very soon 
cleared a space so as to enable the master to enter. Mr. Jorrocks 
then strutted in. 

The kennel was quite of the primitive order, but dry and airy withal. 
It consisted of two rooms, while the feeding-troughs in the half- 
flagged yard showed that the hounds dined out of doors. A tem- 
porary boiling-house was placed behind, and the whole of the back 
part adjoined close upon the New Ebenezer Chapel. 

Great was Mr. Jorrocks's surprise and indignation at finding that 
the pack was without a huntsman, whipper-in, or horses. 

He was perfectly thunderstruck, and it was some time ere his rage 
suffered his tongue to give vent to his thoughts. 

It was a " reg'lar do," and he'd " wesh his 'ands of the concern at 
once." He'd "shoot Doleful first though — skin him alive in fact." 

Fleeceall attempted to soothe him, but finding he was only adding 
fuel to the fire, he suffered his anger to exhaust itself on the unfor- 
tunate and now luckily absent Captain. Mr. Jorrocks was very 
wroth, but considering how far he had gone, and how he would be 
laughed at if he backed out, he determined to let it be " over shoes 
over boots," so he stuck out his legs and proceeded to examine the 
hounds. 

" Plenty of bone," observed he, with a growl. 

" Oh, lots of bones ! " replied Fleeceall, '■' that corner's full," point- 
ing to the bone-house. 

" Are they steady ? " inquired Mr. Jorrocks. 

" Middling," replied Fleeceall, anxious to be safe. 

" Yot, they're not riotous are they ? Never 'unted bagmen or nothin' 
of that sort ? " inquired our master. 

" Oh dear no," replied Fleeceall, " ran a boy, I believe, one day." 

"Ran a boy," exclaimed Mr. Jorrocks, " never heard of sich a thing ! 
He mast have had a drag." 

" They bit his drag," replied Fleeceall, laughing. 

" It were a young hound bit an old 'ooman," interposed Mat, anxious 
for the credit of the pack, " he had a bone, and she would have it 
from him, and the boy got atween the two." 

" Humph I" grunted Mr. Jorrocks, not altogether relishing the 
storv whichever way it was. The hounds were a fine lashing-looking 
lot, chiefly dogs, with a strong family likeness running through the 
pack. There were few old ones, and the lot were fairly average. 
Worse packs are to be found in great kennels. Mr. Jorrocks remained 
with them until he had about mastered their names, and there appearing 




SEND MY SEC, HERS.' 



OR, MR. JORROCKS'S HUNT. 90 

no help for the matter, he resolved to do the best he could with 
his boy until he could meet with a huntsman. — Ordering the feeder 
to be there by day-break, and have the hounds ready for him to take 
out to exercise, he thrust his arm through Fleeceall's and desired him 
to conduct him back to the Dragon. 

As they went he lectured him well on the duties of his office. 
" Now, you see, sir," said he, " I dosn't want one of your fine 
auditin 1 sort of Sees., what will merely run his eye over the bills, and 
write his initials on the back, right or wrong, as many do, but I 
wants a real out-and-out workin' chap, that will go into them hi tern 
by hi tern, and look sharp ater the pence, without leavin' the pounds 
to take care of themselves. A good Sec. is a werry useful sort of 
h'animal, but a bad un's only worth 'anging. In the first place you 
must be werry particklar about gettin' in the subscriptions. That 
is always uppermost in a good See's mind, and he should never stir 
out of doors without a list in his pocket, and should appear at the 
coverside with a handful of receipts, by way of a hint to wot hav'nt 
paid. Now, you must get an account book with ruled columns for 
pounds, shillings, and pence, and open a Dr. and Or. account with every 
man Jack on 'em. You can't do better nor follow the example o' the 
Leamington lads, who string up all the tradespeople with the amount 
of their subscriptions in the shops and public places. It's clearly the 
duty of every man to subscribe to a pack of 'ounds — even if he has to 
borrow the money. ' No tick,' mind, must be the order of the day ; 
and every Saturday night you must come to me with your book, and 
I shall allow you two glasses of spirit and water whilst we overhaul 
the accounts. You must be all alive, in fact. Not an 'oss must die 
in the district without your knowin' of it — you must 'ave the nose of 
a wultur, with the knowledge of a knacker. Should you make an 
'appy 'it (hit) and get one with some go in him, I'll let you use him 
yourself until we wants him for the boiler. In the field, a good Sec. 
ought always to be ready to leap first over any awkward place, or catch 
the M.F.H.'s 'oss, if he 'appens to lead over. In all things he must 
consider the M.F.H. first, and never let self stand in the way. Then 
you'll be a good Sec, and when I dosn't want a Sec. no longer, why 
you'll always be able to get a good See's place from the character I 
shall give you. 

" Now, here we are at the Dragon again. — Come up stairs and I'll 
make you acquainted with your missis," saying which, Mr. Jorrocks 
led the way, and was met on the landing by the knock-knee'd, greasy- 
collared waiter, who ushered them into the room, where Mrs. Jorrocks 
and Belinda, fatigued with the doings of the day, had laid themselves 
down on a couple of sofas, waiting for the return of Mr. Jorrocks to 
have their tea. 

" This be my Sec," said Mr. Jorrocks to his spouse, with the air of 
a, man introducing a party for whom there is no occasion to put 
oneself out of the way, Mrs. Jorrocks, who had bolted up at the 



100 HANDLEY CROSS; 

opening of the door, gave a sort of half bow, and rubbing her eyes and 
yawning, very quietly settled herself again on the sofa. Tea passed 
away, when the ladies having retired, Mr. Jorrocks and Fleeceall very 
soon found out that they had a taste in common, viz. — a love of 
brandy and water, wherewith they sat diluting themselves until the 
little hours of the morning, in the course of which carouse, Fleeceall 
dexterously managed to possess himself of every particle of his worthy 
patron's history and affairs. How much he had in the funds, how 
much in Exchequer bills, how much in railways, and how much in the 
Globe Insurance Office. 

A page or two from Mr. Jorrocks's Journal, which he has kindly 
placed at our disposal, will perhaps best elucidate the doings of the 
early days of his reign over the Handley Cross fox-hounds. 

" Saturday. — Awoke with desperation 'ead ach — Dragon brandy 
car'ntbe good — Dreamed the Lily-vite-sand train had run off with me ; 
and chucked me into the channel — Called to Binjimin — the boy snorin' 
sound asleep ! — only think, snorin' sound asleep, the werry momin' 
after comin' down to whip into a pack of fox-'ounds — fear he has no 
turn for the chase. Fulled his ears, and axed him what he was 
snorin' for. Swore he wasn't snorin' ! — Never heard a boy of his size 
tell such a lie in my life. Rigged for 'unting, only putting on my hat 
'stead of my cap, — and on 'orseback by daylight — Xerxes full of fun 
— Arterxerxes dullish — Bin. rode the latter, in his new tops and spurs 
— ' Now,' said I to Bin. as we rode to the kennel, ' you are hentering 
upon a most momentous crisis— If you apply yourself diligently and 
assiduously to your call in', and learn to be useful in kennel, and to 
cheer the ounds with a full melodious woice — such a woice, in fact, 
as the tall lobster-merchant with the green plush breeches and big 
calves, that comes along our street of a still evenin', with his basket 
on his 'ead, cryin' ' LoB-sters I fine LoB-sters I ' has, there is no 
sayin' but in course of time you may arrive at the distinguished 
'onour of readin' an account of your doin's in ' Bell's Life ' or the 
' Field ; ' but if you persist in playin' at marbles, chuck farthin', and 
flyin' kites, 'stead of attendin' in the stable, I'll send you back to the 
charity school from whence you came, where you'll be rubbed down 
twice a day with an oak towel, and kept on chick-weed and grunsell 
like a canary-bird, — mark my words if I von't.' 

" Found Mat Maltby at the kennel weshin' the flags with a new 
broom, and 'issing for ; ard life — wery curious it is, wet or dry, soft or 
'ard, these chaps always 'iss. 'Ounds all delighted to see me — stood 
up in my stirrups looking over the rails, 'olloain', cheerin', and talkin' 
to them. Yoicks Dexterous ! Yoicks Luckey-lass ! Yoicks Rally- 
wood ! Good dog. Threw bits of biscuit as near each of them as I 
could pitch them, calling the 'ounds by name, to let them see that I 
knew them — Some caught it in their mouths like Hindian jugglers — 
• Let 'em out Mat,' at last cried I, when back went the bolt, open 
went the door, and out they rushed full cry, like a pent up 'urricane, 



If^w y^l/ 




THE HOUNDS AND THE IMAGE MERCHANT. 



OR, MR. JO BROOKS'S HUNT. 101 

tearin' down Hexworthy Street into Jireth Place, through Morning- 
ton Crescent, by the Bramber Promenade into the High Street, 
and down it with a crash and melody of sweet music that roused all 
the old water-drinkin' maids from their pillows, galvanised the watch- 
men, astonished the gas-light man, who was making way for day- 
light, and reg'larly rousing the whole inhabitants of the place. 

" Clapt spurs to Xerxes and arter them, holloain' and crackin' my 
whip, but deuce a bit did they 'eed me — on they went ! sterns up 
and 'eads too, towlin', and howlin', and chirpin', as though they had 
a fox afore them. Butchers' dogs, curs, setters, mastiffs, mongrels of 
all sorts and sizes, flew out as they went, some joinin' cry, others 
worryin' and fightin' their way, but still the body of the pack kept 
niovin' onward at a splittin' pace, down the London Road, as wild as 
hawks, without turning to the right or the left, until they all flew, 
like a flock of pigeons, clean out of sight. ' Oh, dear 1 oh, dear I ' 
cried I, pull in' up, fairly exhausted, at the third mile stone, by the 
cross-roads from Cadger's House and Knowlton, ' I've lost my 'ounds, 
and I'm ruined for ever.' ' Blow yonr 'orn ! ' cried a countryman 
who was sittin' on the stone, ' they are not far afore you, and the dogs 
not far afore them : ' but blow me tight, I was so blown myself, that 
I couldn't raise a puff — easier to blow one's 'orse than one's 'orn. To 
add to my grief and infinite mortification, Binjimin came poundin' 
and clatterin' along the hard road, holloain' out as he went, * Buy 
LOB-ster-r ! fine LoB-ster-r-r ! ' 

" The pack had turned down Greenford Lane, and I jogged after 
them, sorely puzzled, and desperate perplexed. On I went for a mile 
or more, when the easterly breeze bore the 'ounds' cry on its wings, 
and pushin' forward, I came to a corner of the road, where the 
beauties had thrown up short before an Italian plaster of Paris poll- 
parrot merchant, who, tray on head, had the whole pack at bay 
around him, bellowin' and howlin' as though they would eat him. 
* Get round them, Binjimin,' cried I, ' and flog them away to me,' and 
takin' out my 'orn, I blew for 'ard life, and what with view halloas, 
and cheerin', and coaxin', with Bin. at their sterns, succeeded in gettin' 
most of them back to their kennel. Plaster of Paris poll-parrot mer- 
chant followed all the way, indulgin' in frightful faces and an 
unknown tongue." 

The Journal then branches off into a mem. of what he did at 
breakfast in the eating line, how he paid his bill at the Dragon, after 
disputing the brandy items, adding that though attendance was 
charged in the bill, the servants all evinced a disposition to shake 
hands with him at parting, which he thought was making matters 
worse instead of better. He also recorded how he moved to Diana 
Lodge, which he did not find quite so commodious as he expected. 
The day's entry closes with a mem. that he had stewed beef-steaks 
for dinner. 

u Sunday. — Up by cock-crow, and into the kennel Dexterous and 



102 UANDLEY CROSS; 

Mercury been fightin' about a bone, and Mercury got a bloody ear- 
Lector'd Bin. and Mat upon the unpropriety of leavin' bones about. 
Made Bin. call over the 'ounds by name, double-thongin' him when 
he made a mistake. 

" Mrs. Jorrocks in a desperation fidget to get to church. Never 
know'd her so keen afore. Secret out — got a new gown, and a 
bonnet like a market gardener's flower-basket. With all her keenness 
contrived to start just as the bells gave over ringin' — Beadle, in blue 
and gold, with a cocked 'at on his head, and a white wand in his 
hand, received us at the door, and handed us over to the sexton, in 
deep blue, bound with black velvet, who paraded us up the 'isle, and 
placed us with much clatteriu' in the seat of honour just afore the 
pulpit. Church desperate full, and every eye turned on the M. P. H. 
— Mrs. J. thought they were lookin' at her ! poor deluded body. 
Belinda, dressed in lavender, and lookin' werry wholesome. Lessons 
long — sermon excellent — all about 'onering one's superiors, meaning 
the M. F. H. doubtless. 

" After church, friend Miserrimus came and shook 'ands with us all 
round. Grave him ' unbounded pleasure ' to see us all so bloomin' and 
well. Mrs. J. delighted, and axed him to dine. Five, and no 
waitin'. "Walked down High Street. Mrs. Jorrocks on one arm, 
Belinda on t'other. Doleful in the gutter. Fine thing to be a great 
man. Everybody stared — many took off their 'ats. — Country people 
got off the flags. ' That's Mr. Jorrocks,' said one. ' Which ? ' cried 
another. 'Do show him to me,' begged a third. 'Jorrocks forever!' 
cried the children. Nothing like being a great man. Kennel at two 
— feedin'-time — plaster of Paris poll-parrot merchant outside, still in a 
great rage, but didn't catch what he said. Many people came and 
wondered how I knew the names of the 'ounds — all so much alike, 
they said, Take them a lifetime to know them. Miserable ignora- 
musses. 

" Monday. — At the kennel by daylight. Binjimin, as usual, to be 
kicked awake. The bouy seems to take no interest in the thing. 
Fear all the lickin' in the world von't drive a passion for the chase 
into him. Threatened to cut his coat into ribbons on his back, if he 
didn't look lively. Mat Maltby recommended the 'ounds to be 
coupled this time — condescended to take his advice. Told Bin. not 
to cry ' boil'd LoB-sters ' as he did on Saturday, but to sing out in a 
cheerful woice, rich and melodious, Wee the boiled-lobster merchant. 
Axed what to sing out ? Why, ' get on 'ounds, ven 'ounds 'ang 
(hang) back, and ' gently there ! ' when they gets too far forward, 
said I. Put Xerxes's head towards kennel door this time, instead of 
from it. Worth a golden sovereign of any man's money to see 'ounds 
turn out of kennel. Siuh a cry ! sich music ! old Dexterous jumped 
up at Xerxes, and the h'animal all but kicked me over his 'ead. Pack 
gathered round me, some jumpin' up against the 'oss's side, others 
gtandin' bayin', and some lookin' anxiously in my face, as much as to 



OH, MR. JORROCKS'S HUNT. 103 

say, which way this time, Mr. Jorrocks ? Took them a good long 
strong trot to the pike, near Smarden, and round by Billingbrook, 
letting them see the deer in Chidfold Park. Quite steady — make no 
doubt they will be a werry superior pack in less than no time — make 
them as handey as ladies' maids, — do everything but pay their own 
pikes in fact. Wonder Doleful don't ride out. Keen sportsman like 
him, one would think would like to see the 'ounds." 

The Journal proceeds in this strain for two or three days more, 
Mr. Jorrocks becoming better satisfied with his pack each time he 
had them out. On the Friday, he determined on having a bye-day 
on the following one, for which purpose, he ordered his secretary to 
be in attendance, to show him a likely find in a country where he 
would not disturb many covers. Of course the meet was to be kept 
strictly private, and of course, like all " strict secrets," Fleeceall took 
care to tell it to half the place. Still, as it was a " peep-of-day 
affair," publicity did not make much matter, inasmuch as few of the 
Handley Cross gentry loved hunting better than their beds. 

Fleeceall's situation was rather one of difficulty, for he had never 
been out hunting but once, and that once was in a gig, as related in 
a preceding chapter ; but knowing, as Dr. Johnson said, that there 
are " two sorts of information, one that a man carries in his head, 
and the other that he knows where to get ; " nothing daunted by the 
mandate, he repaired to Mat Maltby, the elder, a cunning old poacher, 
who knew every cover in the county, upon whose recommendation, it 
was arranged that a bag-fox, then m the possession of a neighbour, 
should be shook in South Grove, a long slip of old oak, with an ex- 
cellent bottom for holding a fox. All things being thus arranged, as 
Mr. Jorrocks conceived, with the greatest secresy, he went to bed 
early, and long before it was light, he lay tumbling and tossing about, 
listening to the ticking of the clock below, and the snoring of 
Benjamin above. 

At last day began to dawn, and having sought Ben's room and 
soused the boy with a pitcher of cold water, Mr. Jorrocks proceeded 
to jump into his hunting clothes, consisting of a roomy scarlet coat, 
with opposum pockets and spoon cuffs, drab shags, and mahogany- 
coloured tops. Arrived at the kennel, he found Fleeceall there, on his 
old gig mare, with his hands stuck in the pockets of a dirty old 
mackintosh, which completely enveloped his person. " Is Miserrimus 
'ere ? " inquired Mr. Jorrocks, all fuss and flurry on discovering the 
person of his Secretary. " Well, carn't wait — sorry for it — know 
better another time ; " and thereupon he ordered out the horses, gavs 
Ben a leg up on to Xerxes, mounted Arterxerxes himself, the hounds 
were unkennelled with a melodious rush, and desiring Fleeceall to lead 
the way, Mr. Jorrocks got the glad pack about him, and went away 
for South Grove, with a broad grin of satisfaction on his jolly face. 

The day seemed auspicious, and there was a balmy freshness in the 
air that promised well for scent. Added to this, Mr. Jorrocks had 



104 RANDLEY OtOSS / 

cut the left side of his chin in shaving, which he always considered 
ominous of sport. — Bump, bump, jolt, jolt, jog, jog, he went on his 
lumbering hunter, now craneing over its neck to try if he could see 
its knees, now cheering and throwing bits of biscuit to the hounds, 
now looking back to see if Benjamin was in his right place, and again 
holloaing out some witticism to Fleeceall in advance. Thus they 
reached the rushy, unenclosed common, partially studded with patches 
of straggling gorse, which bounds the east side of South Grove, and 
our sporting master having wet his forefinger on his tongue, and held 
it up to ascertain which quarter the little air there was came from, so 
as to give the pack the benefit of the wind, prepared for throwing off 
without delay. Having scrutinised the wood fence most attentively, 
he brought his horse to bear upon the rotten stakes and wither- 
ings of a low, ill made-up gap. In the distance Jorrocks thought of 
jumping it, but he changed his mind as he got nearer. " Pull out 
this stake, Binjimin," exclaimed he to the boy, suddenly reining up 
short ; " Jamp a top on't ! jamp a top on't ! " added he, a so as to 
level the 'edge with the ground, observing, " these little places often 
give one werry nasty falls." This feat being accomplished, Benjamin 
climbed on to Xerxes again, and Jorrocks desiring him to keep on the 
right of the cover, parallel with him, and not to be sparing of his 
woice, rode into the wood after his hounds, who had broken away 
with a whimper, ripening into a challenge, the moment he turned his 
horse's head towards the cover. 

What a cry there was ! The boy with the fox in a bag had crossed 
the main ride about a minute before the hounds entered, and they 
took up the scent in an instant. — Mr. Jorrocks thought it was the 
morning drag, and screamed and holloaed most cheerily — " Talliho ! " 
was heard almost instantaneously at the far end of the wood, and 
taking out his horn, Mr. Jorrocks scrambled through the underwood, 
breaking the briars and snapping the hazels, as he went. Sure enough 
the fox had gone that way, but the hounds were running flash in a 
contrary direction. " Talliho ! talliho ! hoop ! hoop ! hoop ! away I 
away ! away ! " holloaed Mat Maltby, who, after shaking the fox 
most scientifically, had pocketed the sack. 

Twang, twang, twang, went Mr. Jorrocks's horn, sometimes in full, 
sometimes in divided notes and half screeches. The hounds turn and 
make for the point. Governor, Adamant, Dexterous, and Judgment 
came first, then the body of the pack, followed by Benjamin at full 
gallop on Xerxes, with his face and hands all scratched and bleeding 
from the briars and brushwood, that Xerxes, bit in teeth, had borne 
Aim triumphantly through. Bang, the horse shot past Mr. Jorrocks, 
Benjamin screaming, yelling, and holding on by the mane, Xerxes 
doing with him just what he liked, and the hounds getting together 
and settling to the scent. " My vig, wot a splitter ! " cried Mr. Jorrocks 
in astonishment, as Xerxes took a high stone wall out of the cover in 
his stride, without disturbing the coping ; but bringing Ben right on to 



OB, MR JOBROCKS'8 HUNT. 



105 



his shoulder — " Hoff, for a fi' pun note ! hoff fur a guinea 'at to a 
Gossamer ! " exclaimed Mr. Jorrocks, eyeing his whipper-in's efforts 
to regain the saddle. — A friendly chuck of Xerxes's head assists his 
endeavours, and Ben scrambles back to his place. A gate on the 
left, let Mr. Jorrocks out of cover, on to a good sound sward, which 
he prepared to take advantage of by getting Arterxerxes short by the 




MR. JORROCKS CALLING BENJAMIN. 



head, rising in his stirrups, and hustling him along as hard as ever 
he could lay legs to the ground. An open gate at the top fed the 
flame of his eagerness, and, not being afraid of the pace so long as 
there was no leaping, Jorrocks sent him spluttering through a swede 
turnip field as if it was pasture. Now sitting plum in his saddle, he 
gathered his great whip together, and proceeded to rib-roast Arter- 
xerxes in the most summary manner, calling him a great, lurching, 
rolling, lumbering beggar, vowing that if he didn't lay himself out 



106 HANDLEY CROSS; 

and go as he ought, he'd " boil him when he got *ome." So he 
jerked and jagged, and kicked and spurred, and hit and held, making 
indifferent progress compared to his exertions. The exciting cry of 
hounds sounded in front, and now passing on to a very heavy, 
roughly ploughed upland, our master saw the hind-quarters of some 
half-dozen horses, the riders of which had been in the secret, disappear- 
ing through the high quick fence at the top. 

" Dash my vig, here's an unawoidable leap, I do believe," said he 
to himself, as he neared the headland, and saw no way out of the 
field but over the fence — a boundary one ; " and a werry hawk ward 
place it is too," added he, eyeing it intently, " a yawnin' blind ditch, 
a hugly quick fence on the top, and may be, a plough or 'arrow, 
turned teeth huppermost, on the far side. 

" Oh, John Jorrocks, John Jorrocks, my good frind, I wishes you 
were well over with all my 'eart — terrible place, indeed ! Give a 
guinea 'at to be on the far side," so saying, he dismounted, and pull- 
ing the snaffle-rein of the bridle over his horse's head, he knotted the 
lash of his ponderous whip to it, and very quietly slid down the ditch 
and climbed up the fence, " who-a-ing " and crying to his horse to 
" stand still," expecting every minute to have him a-top of 
him. The taking-on place was wide, and two horses having gone 
over before, had done a little towards clearing the way, so having 
gained his equilibrium on the top, Mr. Jorrocks began jerking and 
coaxing Arterxerxes to induce him to follow, pulling at him much in 
the style of a school-boy who catches a log of wood in fishing. 

" Come hup ! my man," cried Mr. Jorrocks coaxingly, jerking the 
rein ; but Arterxerxes only stuck his great resolute fore legs in ad- 
vance, and pulled the other way. " Gently, old fellow ! " cried he, 
" gently, Arterxerxes my bouy ! " dropping his hand, so as to give 
him a little more line, and then trying what effect a jerk would have, 
in inducing him to do what he wanted. Still the horse stood with 
his great legs before him. He appeared to have no notion of leaping, 
Jorrocks began to wax angry. " Dash my vig, you hugly brute ! " 
he exclaimed, grinning with rage at the thoughts of the run he was 
losing, " Dash my vig, if you don't mind what you're arter, I'll get on 
your back, and bury my spurs in your sides. Come Hup ! I say, 
YOU hugly beast ! " roared he, giving a tremendous jerk of the 
rein, upon which the horse flew back, pulling Jorrocks downwards in 
the muddy difcch. Arterxerxes then threw up his heels and ran away, 
whip and all. 

Meanwhile, our bagman played his part gallantly, running three 
quarters of a ring, of three quarters of a mile, chiefly in view, when, 
feeling exhausted, he threw himself into a furze-patch, near a farm- 
yard, where Dauntless very soon had him by the back, but the smell 
of the aniseed, with which he had been plentifully rubbed, disgusting 
the hound, he chucked him in the air and let him fall back in the 
bush. Xerxes, who had borne Ben gallantly before the body of the 




N 

_{ 

t ■■•■ 



Si 



^ 






OR, MR. JORROCKS'S HUNT. 107 

pack, came tearing along, like a poodle with a monkey on his back, 
when, losing the cry of hounds, the horse suddenly stopped short, and 
off flew Benjamin beside the fox, who, all wild with fear and rage, 
seized Ben by the nose, who ran about with the fox hanging to him, 
yelling, " Murder ! murder ! murder ! " for hard life. 

And to crown the day's disasters, when at length our fat friend 
got his horse and his hounds, and his damaged Benjamin scraped 
together again, and re-entered Handley Cross, he was yelled at, and 
hooted, and rid coat ! rid coat ! — ed by the children, and made an 
object of unmerited ridicule by the fair but rather unfeeling portion 
of the populace. 

" Lauk ! here's an old chap been to Spilsby ! " shouted Betty 
Lucas, the mangle-woman, on getting a view of his great mud-stained 
back. 

" Hoot ! he's always tumblin' off, that ard chap," responded Mrs. 
Hardbake, the itinerant lollypop-seller, who was now waddling along 
with her tray before her. 

" Sich old fellers have ne business out a huntin' ! observed Miss 
Rampling the dressmaker, as she stood staring bonnet-box on arm. 

Then a marble-playing group of boys suspended operations to give 
Jorrocks three cheers ; one, more forward than the rest, exclaiming, 
as he eyed Arterxerxes, " A 1 what a shabby tail 1 A ! what a 
ehabby tail ! " 

Next as he passed the Barley-mow beer-shop, Mrs. Gallon the 
landlady, who was nursing a child at the door, exclaimed across the 
street, to Blash the barber's pretty but rather wordy wife — 

" A— a— a I ar say Fanny !— old Fatty's had a fall ! " 

To which Mrs. Blash replied with a scornful toss of her head, at 
our now admiring friend — 

" Hut ! he's always on his back, that old feller." 

" Not 'alf so often as you are, old gal ! " retorted the now indig- 
nant Mr. Jorrocks, spurring on out of hearing. 



CHAPTEE XIV. 

THE COCKNEY WHIPPER-IN. 



u When will your hounds be going out again think ye, Mr. Ben- 
jamin ? " inquired Samuel Strong, a country servant of all work, 
lately arrived at Handley Cross, as they sat round the saddle-room 
fire of the Dragon Inn yard, in company with the persons hereafter 
enumerated, the day after the run described in the last chapter. 

Samuel Strong was just the sort of man that would be Samuel 
Strong. Were his master to ring his bell, and desire the waiter to 
tell the " Boots " to send his servant " Samuel Strong " to him. 



108 EANDLEY CROSS; 

Boots would pick Sam out of a score of servants, without ever having 
seen him before. He was quite the southern-hound breed of 
domestics. Large-headed, almost lop-eared, red-haired (long, coarse, 
and uneven), fiery whiskers, making a complete fringe round his 
harvest moon of a face, with a short thick nose that looked as though 
it had been sat upon by a heavy person. Iu stature he was of the 
middle height, square-built and terribly clumsy. * 

Nor were the defects of nature at all counterbalanced by the 
advantages of dress, for Strong was clad in a rural suit of livery, 
consisting of a footman's morning jacket of dark grey cloth, with a 
stand-up collar, plentifully besprinkled with large brass buttons, 
with raised edges, as though his-master were expecting his crest from 
the herald's college. Moreover, the jacket, either from an original 
defect in its construction, or from that propensity to shrink, which 
inferior clothes unfortunately have, had so contracted its dimensions, 
that the waist-buttons were half-way up Samuel's back, and the 
lower ones were just where the top ones ought to be. The shrinking 
of the sleeves placed a pair of large serviceable-looking hands in 
aervously striking relief. The waistcoat, broad blue and white 
stripe, made up stripe lengthways, was new, and probably the tailor, 
bemoaning the scanty appearance of Sam's nether man, had deter- 
mined to make some atonement to his front, for the waistcoat ex- 
tended full four inches below his coat, and concealed the upper part 
of a very baggy pair of blue plush shorts, that were met again by 
very tight drab gaiters, that evidently required no little ingenuity to 
coax together to button. A six-shilling hat, with a narrow silver 
band, and binding of the same metal, and a pair of darned white 
Berlin gloves, completed the costume of this figure servant. 

Benjamin Brady — or "Binjimin" — was the very converse of 
Samuel Strong. A little puny, pale-faced, gin-drinking-looking 
Cockney, with a pair of roving pig-eyes, peering from below his lank 
white hair, cut evenly round his head, as though it had been done by 
the edges of a barber's basin. Benjamin had increased considerably 
in his own opinion, by the acquisition of a pair of top-boots, and his 
appointment of whipper-in to the hounds, in which he was a good 
deal supported by the deference usually paid by country servants to 
London ones. 

Like all inn saddle-rooms, the Dragon one was somewhat con- 
tracted in its dimensions, and what little there was, was rendered 
less, by sundry sets of harness hanging against the walls, and divers 
saddle-stands, boot-trees, knife-cleaners, broken pitchforks, and 
bottles with candles in their necks, scattered promiscuously around. 
Nevertheless, there was a fire, to keep " hot water ready," and above 
the fire-place were sundry smoke-dried hand-bills of country horses 
for the by-gone season — " Jumper — Clever Clumsy — Barney Bodkin 
— Billy Button, &c." — while logs of wood, three-legged stools, and 
inverted horse-pails, served the place of chairs around. 




BENJAMIN IN THE SADDLE-ROGM* 



K 2 



6tt, MB. JORBOGKS'S EUNT. 109 

On the boiler side of the fire, away from the door — for no one has 
a greater regard for No. 1 than himself — sat the renowned Benjamin 
Brady, in a groom's drab frock coat, reaching down to his heels, a 
sky-blue waistcoat, patent cord breeches, with grey worsted stockings, 
and slippers, airing a pair of very small mud- stained top-boots before 
the fire, occasionally feeling the scratches on bis iace, and the bites 
the fox inflicted on his nose the previous day — next him, sat the 
" first pair toy out," a grey-headed old man of sixty, whose jacket, 
breeches, boots, entire person, in fact, were concealed by a long brown 
holland thing, that gave him the appearance of sitting booted and 
spurred in his night-shirt. Then came the ostler's lad, a boy oi 
some eight or nine years old, rolling about on the flags, playing with 
the saddle-room cat ; and, immediately before the fire, on a large 
inverted horse-pail, sat Samuel Strong, while the circle was made out 
by Bill Brown (Dick the ostler's one-eyed helper), " Tom," a return 
post-boy, and a lad who assisted Bill Brown, the one-eyed helper of 
Dick the ostler — when Dick himself was acting the part of assistant 
waiter in the Dragon, as was the case on this occasion. 

" When will your hounds be going out again think ye, Mr. Ben- 
jamin ? " was the question put by Samuel Strong, to our sporting 
Leviathan. 

"'Ang me if I knows," replied the boy, with the utmost impor- 
tance turning his top boots before the fire. " It's precious little con- 
sequence, I thinks, ven we goes out again, if that gallows old gover- 
nor of ours persists in 'unting the 'ounds himself. I've all the 
work to do ! Bless ye, we should have lost 'ounds, fox, and all, yes- 
terday, if I hadn't rid like the werry wengeance. See 'ow I've 
scratched my mug," added he, turning up a very pasty and much 
scratched countenance. " If I'm to 'unt the 'ounds, and risk my 
neck at every stride, I must have the wages of a 'untsman, or blow 
me tight as the old 'un says, he may suit himself." 

" What'n a chap is your old gen'leman ? " inquired the " first 
pair boy out," who, having been in service himself, where he might 
have remained if he could have kept sober, had still a curiosity to 
know how the world of servitude went on. 

" Oh, hang'd if I knows," replied Benjamin, " precious rum 'un I 
assure you. Whiles, he's well enough — then it's Bin this, and Bin 
that, and Bin you'll be a werry great man, Bin, and such like 
gammon ; and then the next minute, praps, he's in a reg'lar sky-blue, 
swearin' he'll cut my liver and lights out, or bind me apprentice to a 
fiddler — but then I knows the old fool, and he knows he carnt do 
without me, so we just battle on the best way we can together," 
added Ben with a knowing toss of his head. 

" You'll have good wage I 'spose," rejoined Samuel, with a sigh, 
for his " governor " only gave him ten pounds a year, and no per- 
quisites, or " stealings " as the Americans honestly call them. 

"Precious little of that I assure you," replied Benjamin — "at least 



lid HANDLEY GttOSSf 

the old warment never pays me. He swears he pays it to our old 
'oman ; but I believe he pockets it himself, an old ram ; but I'll 
have a reckoning with him some of these odd days, or I'll be off to 
the diggins. What'n a blackguard's your master ? " now asked Ben, 
thinking to get some information in return. 

" Hush ! " replied Samuel, astonished at Ben's freedom of speech, 
a thing not altogether understood in the country. 

"A bad 'un I'll be bund," continued the little rascal, "or he 
wouldn't see you mooning about in such a rumbustical apology for a 
coat, with laps that scarce cover you decently ; " reaching behind the 
aged post-boy, and taking up Mr. Samuel's fan-tail as he spoke. " I 
never sees a servant in a cutty-coat, without swearing his master's a 
screw. Now these droll things such as you have on, are just vot the 
great folks in London give their flunkeys to carry coals, and make up 
fires in, but never to go staring from home with. Then your country 
folks get hold of them, and think by clapping such clowns as you in 
them, to make people believe that they have other coats at home. 
Tell the truth now, old baggy-breeches, have you another coat of any 
sort?" 

" Yee'as," replied Samuel Strong, " I've a fustian one." 

" Yot, you a fustian coat ! " repeated Benjamin in astonishment, 
" vy I thought you were a flunkey ! " 

" So I am," replied Samuel, " but I looks ater a hus and shay as 
well." 

" Crikey ! " cried Benjamin, " here's a figure futman what looks 
arter a 'oss and chay — Yy you'll be vot they call a man of ' all vork,' 
a wite nigger — a wite Uncle Tom in fact ! dear me," added he, eyeing 
him in a way that drew a peal of laughter from the party, " vot a 
curious beast you must be ! I shouldn't wonder now if you could 
mow ? " 

" With any man," replied Samuel, thinking to astonish Benjamin 
with his talent, — 

" And sow ? " 

" Yee'as and sow." 

"Andploo?" (plough). 

" Never tried — dare say I could though." 

" And do you feed the pigs ? " inquired Benjamin. 

" Yee'as, when Martha s away." 

" And who's Martha ? " 

" Whoy she's a widder woman, that lives a back o' the church. — 
She's a son a-board a steamer, and she goes to see him whiles." 

"Your governor's an apothecary, I suppose by that queer button," 
observed Benjamin, eyeing Sam's coat. " Wot we call a chemist and 
druggist in London. Do you look after the red and green winder 
bottles now ? Crikey, he don't look as though he lived on physic 
altogether, do he ? added Benjamin turning to Bill Brown, the 
helper, amid the general laughter of the company. 



OR, MR. JORROCKS'S HUNT. Ill 

" My master's a better man than ever you'll be, you little ugly 
sinner*" replied Samuel Strong, breaking into a glow, and doubling a 
most serviceable-looking fist on his knee. 

" We've only your word for that," replied Benjamin, " he don't 
look like a werry good 'un by the way he rigs you out. 'Ow many 
slaveys does he keep ? " 

" Slaveys," replied Samuel, " slaveys, what be they ? " 

" Yy cook-maids and such like h'animals — women in general." 

" Ow, two — one to clean the house and dress the dinner, t'other to 
milk the cows and dress the childer." 

" Oh, you 'ave childer, 'ave you, in your 'ouse ? " exclaimed 
Benjamin in disgust. " Well come, our's is bad, but we've nothing 
to ekle (equal) that. I wouldn't live where there are brats for no 
manner of consideration." 

" You've a young Misses, though, haven't you ? " inquired the 
aged post-boy, adding, " at least there was a young lady came down 
in the chay along with the old folk." 

" That's the niece," replied Benjamin — " a jolly nice gal she is too 
— often get a tissy out of her — that's to say, she don't give me them 
herself exactly, but the young men as follows her do, so it comes to 
the same thing in the end. She has a couple of them you see, first 
one pays, and then t'other. Green, that's him of Tooley Street, gives 
shillings because he has plenty ; then Stobbs, wot lives near Borough- 
bridge, gives half-crowns, because he hasn't much. Then Stobbs is 
such a feller for kissin' of the gals. — ' Be'have yourself or I'll scream,' 
I hears our young lady say, as I'm a listenin' at the door. ' DorCt] 
says he, kissin' of her again, ' you'll hurt your throat,— let me do it 
for you.' Then to hear our old cove and Stobbs talk about 'unting 
of an evening over their drink, you'd swear they were as mad as 
'atters. They jump, and shout, and sing, and talliho ! till they 
whiles bring the street-keeper to make them quiet." 

"You had a fine run t'other day, I hear," observed Joe, the 
deputy-helper, in a deferential tone to Mr. Brady. 

" Uncommon ! " replied Benjamin, shrugging up his shoulders at 
the recollection of it, and clearing the low bars of the grate out with 
his toe. 

"They tell me your old governor tumbled off," continued Joe, 
" and lost his 'oss." 

" Werry like," replied Benjamin with a grin, " he generally does 
tumble h'off. I'm dashed if it ar'nt a disgrace to an 'oss to be ridden 
by such a lubber ! A great fat beast ! he's only fit for a vater 
carriage." Haw ! haw ! haw ! haw ! haw ! haw 1 went the roar of 
laughter among the party ; haw ! haw ! haw ! haw ! haw ! pealed 
the second edition. 

" He's a precious old file too," resumed the little urchin, elated at 
the popularity he was acquiring, " to hear him talk, I'm blow'd if tou 
wouldn't think he'd ride over an 'ouse, and yet somehow or other, 



112 BANDLiSY CttOSS; 

he's never seen after they go away, unless it be bowling along the 
'ard road ; — t'other mornin' we had as fine a run as ever was seen, 
and he wanted to give in in the middle of it, and yesterday he stood 
starin' like a stuck pig in the wood, stead of ridin' to his 'ounds. If 
I hadn't been as lively as a lark, and lept like a louse, we should 
never have seen an 'ound no more. They'd have run slap to France, 
or whatever there is o*i the far side of the hill, if the world's made 
any further that way. Well, I rides, and rides, for miles and miles, 
as 'ard as ever the 'oss could lay legs to the ground, over everything, 
'edges, ditches, gates, stiles, rivers, determined to stick by 'em, — see 
wot a mug I've got with rammin through the briars — feels just as if 
I'd had it teased with a pair of wool-combs ; howsomever, I did, and 
I wouldn't part company with them, and the consequence was, we 
killed the fox — my eyes, such a wopper ! — longer than that," said he, 
stretching out both his arms, " and as big as a bull — fierce as fury — 
flew at my snout — nearly bit it off — kept a hold of him though — and 
worried his soul out — people all pleased — farmer's wife in particklar 
— offered me a drink o milk — axed for some jackey — had none, but 
gave me whiskey instead, — Yill any man here sky a copper for a 
quartern of gin ? " inquired Benjamin, looking round the party. 
"Then who'll stand a penny to my penny, and let me have a first 
go ? " No one closing with either of these handsome offers, Ben took 
up his tops, looked at the soles, then replacing them before the fire, 
felt in his stable-jacket-pocket, which was lying over his own saddle, 
and bringing out a very short dirty old clay-pipe, he filled it out of 
the public tobacco-box of the saddle-room, and very complacently 
crossing his legs, proceeded to smoke. Before he had time to make 
himself sick, the first pair boy out, interrupted him by asking what 
became of his master during the run. 

" Oh ! dashed if I know," replied Benjamin, " but that reminds 
me of the best of the story. — We killed our fox you see, and there 
were two or three 'ossmen up, who each took a fin and I took the 
tail, which I stuck through my 'oss's front, and gathering the dogs, 
I set off towards home, werry well pleased with all I had done. 
Well, after riding a very long way, axing my way, for I was quite a 
stranger, I came over a hill at the back of the wood, where we 
started from, when what should I see in the middle of a big ploughed 
field but the old 'un himself, an 'unting of his 'oss that had got away 
from him. There was the old file in his old red coat and top-boots, 
flounderin' away among the stiff clay, with a hundredweight of dirt 
stickin' to his heels, gettin' the 'oss first into one corner and then 
into another, and all but catchin' hold of the bridle, when the nag 
would shake his head, as much as to say, 'Not yet, old chap,' and 
trot off to the h'opposite corner, the old 'un grinnin' with h'anger 
and wexation, and followin' across the deep wet ridge and furrow in 
his tops, reg'larly churnin' the water in them as he went. 

"Then the 'oss would begin to eat, and Jorrocks would take 



on, mk. jonnocKS's bunt. na 

1 Bell's Life ' or ' The Field ' out of his pocket, and pretend to read, 
sneaking nearer and nearer all the time. When he got a few yards 
off, the 'oss would stop and look round, as much as to say, ' I sees 
you, old cock,' and then old J. would begin coxin' — Whoay, my old 
feller, who-ay — ivho-ay, my old bouy,' (Benjamin imitating his 
master's manner by coaxing the old post-boy), until he got close at 
him again, when the 'oss would give a half -kick and a snort, and set 
off again at a quiet jog-trot to the far corner again, old J. grinnin' 
and wowin' wengeance against him as he went. 

"At last he spied me a lookin' at him through the high 'edge 
near the gate at tfie corner of the field, and cuttin' across, he cried, 
1 Here Binjimin ! Binjbot, I say ! ' for I pretended not to hear 
him, and was for cuttin' away, ' lend me your quad a minute to go 
and catch mine upon ; " so, accordingly, I got down, and up he 
climbed. ' Let out the stirrups four 'oles,' said he, quite con- 
sequential, shuffling himself into his seat ; * Vot, you've cotched the 
fox 'ave ye ? ' said he, lookin' at the brush danglin' through the 'ead 
stall. ' Yes,' says I to him, says I, ' we've cotched him.' Then vot 
do you think says he to me ? Vy, says he to me, says he, * Then 
cotch my 'oss,' and away the old wagrant went, 'oss, 'ounds, brush, 
and all, tellin' everybody he met as how he'd cotched the fox, and 
leavin' me to run about the ploughed land after his great hairy-heel'd 
nag. — My tops baint dry yet and never will, I think," added 
Benjamin, putting them closer to the fire, and giving it another 
poke with his toe. 

" What'n 'osses does he keep ? " inquired the return post-boy. 

" Oh, precious rips, I assure you, and no mistake. Bless your 
'eart, our old chap knows no more about an 'oss than an 'oss knows 
about him, but to hear him talk — Oh, Crikey ! doesn't he give them 
a good character, especial ven he wants to sell vun. He von't take 
no one's adwice neither. Says I to him t'other mornin' as he was a 
feelin' of my 'oss's pins, ' That ere 'oss would be a precious sight 
better if you'd blister and turn him out for the vinter.' ' Blister and 
turn him out for the vinter ! you little rascal,' said he, lookin' as 
though he would eat me, ' I'll cut off your 'ead and sew on a button, 
if you talks to me about blisterin'.' Says I to him, says I, ' You're 
a thorough-bred old hidiot for talking as you do, for there isn't a 
grum in the world * what doesn't swear by blisters ! ' I'd blister a 
cork leg if I had one," added Benjamin, "so would any grum. 
Blisterin' against the world, says I, for everything except the worms. 
Then it isn't his confounded stupidity only that one has to deal with, 
but he's such an unconscionable old screw about feeding of his 'osses 
— always sees every feed put afore them, and if it warn't for the 
matter of chopped inions (onions) that I mixes with their corn, I 

* Benjamin spoke truth there, for let a groom be ever co ignorant, he cau 
always recommend a blister. 



114 HANDLEY CROSS; 

really should make nothing out of my stable, for the old 'un pays all 
his own bills, and orders his own stuff, and ven that's the case those 
base mechanics of tradesmen never stand nothin' to no one." 

" And what do you chop the onions for, Mr. Benjamin ? " inquired 
Samuel Strong. 

" Chop inions for ! " exclaimed Ben with astonishment, H and is it 
possible that you've grown those great fiery viskers on either side of 
your chuckle head and not be hup to the chopped inion rig ? My 
eyes, but you'll never be able to keep a gal, I think ! Vy you 
double-distilled fool " 

" Come, sir," interrupted Samuel, again doubling his enormous fist, 
that would almost have made a head for Benjamin, amid a general 
roar of laughter, " keep a clean tongue in your head, or I'll knock 
your teeth down your throat." 

" Oh, you're a man of that description, are you ! " exclaimed 
Benjamin, pretending to be in a fright, " you don't look like a 
dentist either somehow — poor hignorant hass. Yy the chopped inion 
rig be just this— you must advance a small brown out of your own 
pocket to buy an inion, and chop it werry small. Then s'pose your 
chemist and druggist chap gives his 'oss four feeds a-day (vich I 
s'pose will be three more nor he does), and sees the grain given, 
which some wicked old warmints will do, you take the sieve, and 
after shakin' the corn, and hissin' at it well, just take half a handful 
of chopped inion out of your jacket pocket, as you pass up to the 
'oss's 'ead, and scatter it over the who'ats, then give the sieve a 
shake, and turn the whole into the manger. The governor seeing it 
there, will leave, quite satisfied that the 'oss has had his dues, and 
perhaps may get you out of the stable for half an hour or so, but 
that makes no odds, when you goes back you'll find it all there, and 
poulterers like it none the worse for the smell of the inions. That, 
and pickin' off postage-stamps, is about the only parquisite I has." 

" Now, Mr. Yon-eye," said he, turning to Bill Brown, the one-eyed 
helper, " is it time for my 'osses to have their bucket of water and 
kick in the ribs ? " 

The time for this luxurious repast not having arrived, Benjamin 
again composed himself in his corner with his pipe, and the party sat 
in mute astonishment at his wonderful precocity. 

The return post-boy (whose time was precious) at length broke 
silence, by asking Benjamin if he was living with his first master. 

" Deed am I," replied Ben, knocking the ashes out of his pipe, 
" and had I known as much of sarvice as I does now, I'd have staid 
at school all my life — Do what they will at school, they carn't make 
you larn, and there's always plenty of playtime. Crikey, 'ow well I 
remembers the day our old cock kidnapped me. Me and putty-faced 
Joe, and Peter Pink-eye Rogers, were laying our heads together how 
we could sugar old mother Gribb's milk, that's she as keeps the h'apple 
and purple-sugar-stick stall by the skittle-ground at the Royal 



OH, MM. JORKOCK&S HUNT. 115 

Artilleryman, on Pentonville Hill ; veil, we were dewising how we 
should manage to get her to give us tick for two pennorth of 
Gibraltar-rock, when Mr. Martin, the 'ead master, and tail master 
too, I may call him, for he did all the flogging, came smiling in with 
a fat stranger at his 'eels, in a broad-brimmed caster, and 'essian 
boots with tassels, werry much of the cut of old Paul Pry, that they 
used to paint upon the 'busses and pint pots, though I doesn't see no 
Paul Prys now-a-days. 

" Well, this 'ere chap was old Jorrocks, and h'up and down the 
school he went, lookin' first at one bye (boy) and then at another, 
the master all the while hegging him on, just as the old 'un seemed 
to take a fancy, swearing they was all the finest byes in the school, 
just as I've since 'eard old J. himself chaunting of his 'osses ven he's 
ad one for to sell, but still the old file was difficult to suit — some 
were too long in the body, some in the leg, others too short, another's 
'ead was too big, and one whose nose had been flattened by a brick- 
bat from a Smithfield drover's bye, didn't please him. Well, on he 
went, h'up one form, down another, across the rest, until he got into 
the middle of the school, where the byes sit face to face, with their 
books on their knees, instead of havin' a desk afore them, and the 
old cock havin' got into the last line, began h'examining of them 
werry closely, fearin' he was not goin' for to get suited. 

" * Werry rum, Mr. Martin,' said he, ' werry rum, I've been to the 
kilt and bare-legged school in 'Atton Garding, the green coat and 
yellow breeches in 'Ackney, the red coat and blue vestkits at 'Olio- 
way, the sky-blues and jockey-caps at Paddington Green, and found 
nothin' at all to my mind ; must be gettin' out of the breed of nice 
little useful bowys, I fear,' said he, and just as he said the last words, 
he came afore me, with his 'ands behind his back, and one 'and was 
open as if he wanted summut, so I spit in it. 

iii Hooi! Mr. Martin,' roared he, jumpin' round, ' here's a bowy 
spit in my 'and ! the biggest gog wotever was seen ! ' showing his 
mauley to Martin with it all runnin' off ; and Martin seeing who was 
behind, werry soon fixed upon me — ' You little dirty, disreputable 
'bomination.' said he, seizing of me by the collar, at least wot should 
have been a collar, for at the Corderoy's they only give us those 
quaker-like upright sort of things, such as old fiery-face there," 
looking at Samuel Strong, " has on. Says Martin to me, says he, 
laying hold on me werry tight, i vot the deuce and old Davey do you 
mean by insultin' a gen'leman that will be Lord Mayor ? Sir, I'll 
flog you within half a barley-corn of your life ! ' 

" ' Beg pardon, sir; beg pardon, sir,' I cried, ' thought the gen'le- 
man had a sore 'and, and a little hointment 'd do it good.' 

" ' Haw ! haw ! haw I ' roared Jorrocks, taking out a red cotton 
wipe and rubbing his 'and dry, ' haw ! haw ! haw ! werry good, Mr. 
Martin, werry good — promisin' bowy that, I thinks, promisin' botty 
that, likes them with mischief— likes them with mischief, poopeys 



116 HANDLE? CROSti; 

(puppeys) and bowys — never good for nothin' unless they 'ave. — 
Don't you mind/ said he, pokin' Martin in the ribs with his great 
thick thumb, ' don't you mind Beckford's story 'bout the pointer and 
the turkeys ? ' Martin didn't, so J. proceeded to tell it afore all the 
school. ' Ye see,' said he, * a gent gave another a pointer poop, and 
enquiring about it a short time arter, the gent who got it said he 
feared it wasn't a goin' to do him any good, cos as how it hadn't 
done him any 'arm. But nieetin' him again a fortnight arter, he 
changed his tune, and thought well on him, for,' says he, ' he's killed 
me heighteen turkeys since I saw you — haw ! haw ! haw ! — he ! he ! 
lie ! — ho ! ho ! ho ! ' " — a guffaw in which the saddle-room party 
joined. 

When the laughter subsided, Ben was unanimously requested to 
continue his narrative. 

" And what did the old gent say about you ? " asked Sam, expect- 
ing to hear that Ben got a good thrashing for his dirty, disrespectful 
conduct. 

" 0, why," replied Ben, considering — u 0, why, arter he had got 
all quiet again, and his wipe put back into his pocket, he began 
handlin' and lookin' at me, and then, arter a good examination, he 
says to Martin, quite consequential-like — ' 'Ow old's the rogue ? ' 

" Now Martin know'd no more about me than I know'd about 
Martin ; but knowin' the h'age that Jorrocks wanted a bye of, why, 
in course, he said I was just of that age, and knowin' that I should 
get a precious good hiding for spittin' in the old covey's 'and, if I 
staid at the Corderoy's, why I swore that I was uncommon fond of 
'osses, and gigs, and 'arness, and such like, and after the old file had 
felt me well about the neck, for he had an ide that if a bye's big in 
the neck in course o' time he'll get big all over, he took me away, 
promising Martin the two quarterages our old gal had run in arrear 
for my laming — though hang me I never got none — out o' my wage, 
and would ye believe it, the old gudgeon kept me goin' on from 
quarter to quarter, for I don't know 'ow many quarters, sayin' he 
hadn't viped off the old score for my schoolin', just as if I had any 
business to pay it ; at last, one day as I was a rabbin' down the 
chestnut 'oss as he sold to the chap in Tooley Street, he comes into 
the stable, full of pride, and I thought rather muzzy, for he bumped, 
first agin one stall and then agin another, so says I to him, says I, 
' Please, sir, I vants for to go to the Veils this evening." 

" * To the Veils ! ' repeated he, staring with astonishment — ' To 
the Veils!— Wot Veils?' 

" ' Bagnigge ! ' said I, and that's a place, Mr. Baconface," observed 
Ben, turning to Samuel Strong, " that you shouldn't be hung without 
geeing — skittles, bowls, stalls all around the garding, like stables for 
'osses, where parties take their tea and XX — all painted sky-blue with 
red pannels — gals in shiny vite gowns and short sleeves, bare down 
the neck, singing behind the h'organ with h'ostrich feathers in their 



OR, MR. JORROCKS'S HUNT. 117 

'eads — all beautiful — admission tup-pence — a game at skittles for a 
penna — and every thing elegant and quite genteel — mustn't go in 
that queer coat of yours though, or they'd take you for a Bedlamite, 
and may be send you to the hulks — queer chaps the Londoners. — 
Once knowd a feller, quite as queer a lookin' dog as you, barrin' his 
nose, which was a bit better, and not so red. Well, he had a rum- 
mish cove of a governor, who clapt him into a nut-brown suit, with 
Dright basket buttons, and a glazed castor, with a broad welwet band 

* all round his 'at,' and as he was a mizzlin' along Gower Street, 
where his master had just come to live from over t'other side of the 
vater, vot should he meet, but one of the new polish (police), who 
seeing such a h'object, insisted he was mad ; and nothin' would sarve 
him, but that he was mad ; and avay he took him to the station 
'ouse, and from thence, afore the beak, at Bow Street, and nothin' 
but a sendin' for the master to swear that they were his clothes, and 
that he considered them livery, saved the fellow from transportation, 
for if he'd stolen the clothes he couldn't have been more galvanised 
than when the new polish grabbed him. 

" Well, but that isn't what I was a goin' to tell you about. Blow 
these boots," said he, stooping down and turning them again, " they 
never are goin' for to dry. Might as well have walked through the 
Serpentine in them. I was goin' to tell you of the flare-up the 
old 'un and I had about the Yells. ' Well/ says I to him, says I, * I 
vants for to go the Yells.' 

"'Yot Yells? 'said he. 

" ' Bagnigge,' says I. ' Bagnigge be d — d,' said he, — no he didn't 
say, * be d — d,' for the old 'un never swears except he's h'outra- 
geously h'angry. But, howsomever, he said, I shouldn't go to the 
Yells, for as 'ow, Mrs. Muffin, and the seven Miss Muffins, from 
Primrose Hill, were comin' to take their scald with him that evening, 
and he vanted me to carry the h'urn, while Batsey buttered and 
'anded round the bread. 

" ' Well,' but says I to him, says I, * that don't h'argufy. If I'm a 
grum, I'm a grum, if I'm a butler, I'm a butler, but it's out of all 
conscience and calkilation expectin' a man to be both grum and 
butler. Here 'ave I been a cleanin' your useless screws of hosses, 
and weshing your hugly chay till I'm fit to faint, in h'order that I 
might have a night of enjoyment to myself, and then you wants me 
to carry vater to your nasty old boiler. A man should have double 
wage, 'stead of none at all, to stand such vork.' 

" ' 'Ow do you mean none at all ? ' said he, grinnin' with anger, 

* dosn't I pay your old mother a sovereign annually four times a- 
year?' 

" ' Yot's that to me ? ' said I, ' my mother don't do your work, does 
she? 1 

" * Dash my vig ! ' said he, gettin' into a reglar blaze. ' You little 
ungrateful 'ound, I'll drown you in a bucket of barley water,' and go 



118 HANDLEY CROSS; 

we got on from bad to worse, until he swore he'd start ine, and get 
another bowy from the Corderoy's. 

" ' Quite unanimous/ said I, ' quite unanimous, in course you'll 
pay up my wages afore I go, and that will save me the trouble of 
taking of you to Hicks Hall.' At the werry word, * Hicks Hall,' the 
old gander turned quite green and began to soften. 'Now, Bin- 
jimin,' said he, ' that's werry unkind o' you. If you had the Hen 
and Chickens comin' to take their pumpaginous aqua (which he says 
is French for tea and" coffee) with you, and you wanted your boiler 
carried, you'd think it werry unkind of Batsey if she wouldn't give 
ou a lift 1 ' Then he read a long lector about doing as one would 
e done by, and all that sort of gammon that Martin used to cram ug 
with of a Sunday. Till at last it ended in his givin' me a half-crown 
to do what he wanted, on the understandin' that it was none of my 
vork, and I says that a chap wot does everything he's bid, like that 
suckin' Sampson there," eyeing Samuel Strong with the most in* 
affable contempt, "is only fit to be a tinker's jack-ass." Samuel 
looked as though he would annihilate the boy as soon as he made up 
his mind where to hit him, and Benjamin, unconscious of all danger, 
stooped, and gave the eternal tops another turn. 

" We never heard nothin' of your comin' until three days afore you 
cast up," observed Bill Brown, with a broad grin on his countenance 
at Benjamin's audacity and Samuel's anger. 

" It wern't werry likely that you should," replied Benjamin, look- 
ing up, " for as 'ow we hadn't got our own consent much afore that. 
Our old cove is a reg'lar word-and-a-blow man. If he does, he does, 
and if he don't, why he lets it alone. Give the old 'un his due, he's 
none o' your talkin' chaps, wot's always for doin' somethin' only they 
don't. He never promised me a cow-hidin' yet, but he paid it with 
interest. As soon as ever he got the first letter, I know'd there was 
somethin' good in the wind ; for he gave me half a pot of his best 
marmeylad, and then a few days after he chucked me a golden 
sovereign, tellin' me, go and buy a pair of new tops, or as near new 
as I could get them for the money." 

" And what did you pay for them ? " inquired both post-boys at 
once, for the price of top-boots is always an interesting subject to a 
stable-servant. 

w Guess 1 " replied Benjamin, holding them up, adding, " mind, 
they are nothing like now what they were when I bought them ; 
the Jew told me, though it don't do to believe above half what those 
gents tell you, that they belonged to the Markiss of Castlereagh's own 
tiger, and that he had parted with them because they didn't wrinkle 
in quite as many folds as his Majesty wished. Here was the fault," 
continued Benjamin^ holding one of the boots upon his hand and 
pressing the top downwards to make it wrinkle. " You see it makes 
but eight wrinkles between the top and the 'eel, and the Markiss's 
^en'lman swore as how he would never be seen in a pair wot didn't 



OB, MB. JOBBOCKS'S HUNT. 119 

make nine, so he parted with them, and as I entered 'Olyvell Street 
from the east, I spied them 'anging on the pegs at Levy Aaron's, 
that's the first Jew vot squints on the left 'and side of the way, for 
there are about twenty of them in that street with queer eyes. 

" i Yeskit ! ' said he, 4 vashin' veskit, werry sheep ; half nothin' in 
fact,' just as these barkers always chaff. 

" * No,' said I, passing on — ' You don't s'pose I wears cast-offs 1 ' 

" * Clow for shell,' then said he, — ' Bes'h price, bes'h price.' 

" * Nor to shell neither, 1 said I, mimickin' of him. ' I'll swap my 
shoes for a pair of tops if you like.' 

" ' Yot vill you give in ? ' axed Levy Aaron. 

" ' Nothin',' said I, determined to begin low enough. 

" * Yalk in then,' said he, quite purlite, * 'onour of your custom's 
quite enough, so in I went. Such a shop I full o' veskits covered 
with gold and flowers, and lace, and coats, without end, with the 
shop sides, each as high as a hay-stack, full o' nothin' but trousers 
and livery breeches. 

" ' Sit down, shir,' said he, 'anding me a chair without a back, 
while his missis took the long stick from behind the door with a 
hook, and fished down several pairs of tops. They had all sorts and 
sizes, and all colours too. Mahogany, vite, rose-colour, painted vons ; 
but I kept my eye on the low pair I had seen outside, till at last Mrs. 
Levy Aaron handed them through the winder.' I pulls one on. 

" * Uncommon fit,' said Levy Aaron, slappin' the sole to feel if all 
my foot was in ; * much better leg than the Markiss o' Castlereagh's 
tiger ; you'll five with a Duke before you die.' 

"'Let's have on t'other,' said I. 

" ' Yon's as good as both,' said he. ' Oh ! ' says I, twiggin' vot he 
was after, — ' If you thinks I'm a man to bolt with your boots, you'r 
mistaken ; so I kicked off the one I had on, and bid him 'and me my 
shoes. "Well, then he began to bargain — ' Thirty shilling and the 
shoes.' I was werry angry and wouldn't treat. ' Five-and-twenty 
shilling without the shoes then.' Still I wouldn't touch. ' Give me 
my castor,' said I, buttonin' up my pocket with a slap, and lookin' 
werry wicious. ■' You'r a nasty suspicious old warmint.' Then the 
Jew began to soften. ' 'Onour bright, he meant no offence.' ' One 
shovereign then he vod take.' ' Give me my castor,' said I. 

" ' Good mornin', Mrs. Jewaster,' which means female Jew. ' Seven- 
teen and sixpence ! ' ' Go to the devil,' said I. * Come then, fifteen 
shillin' and a paper bag to put them in.' ' No,' said I, ' I'll give 
you ten.' * Done,' said he, and there they are. A nice polish they 
had when I got them, but the ploughed land has taken the shine off. 
Howsomever, I s'pose they'll touch up again ? " 

" Not they," replied Bill Brown, who had been examining one of 
them very minutely, " they are made of nothing but brown paper ! " 

" Brown paper be 'anged ! " exclaimed Benjamin. " Your 'ead'g 
more like made of brown paper." 



120 



HANDLEY CROSS 



" Look there then ! " rejoined Bill Brown, running his thumb 
through the instep, and displaying the brown paper through the 
liquid varnish with which it had been plentifully smeared. 

" Haw, haw, haw, haw, haw, haw, haw" pealed the whole of the 
saddle-room party, in the midst of which Ben bolted with his brown- 
paper boots. 



CHAPTER XV. 



SIR ARCHEY DEPECARDE. — THE PLUCKWELLE PRESERVES. 

AS yet our dis- 
tinguish e d 

friend was in 
no position 
for taking the 
field, for 
though he 
had got a 
pack of 
hounds — such 
as they were 
— h e had 
neither hunts- 
man to hunt 
them, nor 
horses for a 
huntsman t o 
ride if he had 
one. He was 
therefore in 
un- 



a very 
finished con- 
d i t i o n. 

Horses, however, are soon got, if a man has only money to pay for 
them, and a master of hounds being clearly the proper person to buy 
all the horses that other people want to sell, Mr. Jorrocks very soon 
had a great many very handsome offers of that sort. Among others 
he received a stifnsh, presenting-his-compliments note, from the 
celebrated gambler, Sir Archibald Depecarde, of Pluckwelle Park, 
and the Albany, London, stating that he had a very fine bay horse 
that he modestly said was too good for his work, and which he should 
be glad to see in such good hands as Mr. Jorrocks's. Sir Archey, as 
many of our readers doubtless know — some perhaps to their cost — is 




A LOOK AT THE STABLES. 



OR, MR. JORROCKS'S HUNT. 1» 

a very knowing hand, always with good looking, if not good horses* 
which he is ready to barter, or play for, or exchange in any shape or 
way that conduces to business. His rechercM little dinners in the 
Albany are not less famous for "do's" than his more extended 
hospitality at Pluckwelle Park, whither he brings such of his flats as 
require more deliberate preparation and treatment than the racket of 
London allows. Now our friend Mr. Jorrocks, though not exactly 
swallowing all the butter that was offered him, had no objection to 
see if there was anything to be made of Sir Archey's horse, so by way 
of being upsides with him in dignity, he replied as follows : — 

" M.F.H. John Jorrocks presents his compliments to Sir Archibald 
Depecarde, and in reply to his favour begs to say that he will take an 
early hopportunity of drivin' over to Pluckivelle Park to look at his 
quadruped, and as the M.F.H. ''ears it is a goo dish distance from 
Handley Cross, he will bring his night cap ivith him, for ivhere the 
M.F.H. dines he sleeps, and where the M.F.H. sleeps he breakfasts" 

Sir Archey thought the answer rather cool — especially from a mere 
tradesman to a man of his great self-importance, but being of 
opinion that there is no account between man and man that money 
will not settle, he determined to square matters with the M.F.H. by 
putting an extra bl. or 10?. on the horse. He therefore resolved to 
pocket the affront and let matters take their chance. 

As good as his word, one afternoon a few days after, our plump 
friend was seen navigating his vehicle, drawn by a Duncan Nevin 
screw, along the sinuosities of Sir Archibald's avenue, in the leisurely 
way of a gentleman eyeing the estate, and gaining all the informa- 
tion he could by the way, and having arrived at the Corinthian 
columned portico, where he was kept waiting longer than he liked, he 
was shocked to find, by the unlocking and unbolting of the door, 
that Sir Archey was " from home " — " just gone to town " — (to look 
after a gambling-house in which he had a share on the sly). 

" Hash my vig ! " exclaimed Mr. Jorrocks, nearly stamping the 
bottom of the vehicle out with his foot, and thinking whether it was 
possible to tool Duncan Nevin's hack back to Handley Cross. 
u Dash my vig ! " repeated he, " didn't he know I was a comin' ? " 

" Beg pardon, sir," replied the footman, rather abashed at the 
Jorrocks vehemence (who he at first took for a prospectus man or an 
atlas-monger). " Beg pardon, sir, but I believe Mrs. Markham, sir, 
has a message for you, sir — if you'll allow me, sir, I'll go and see, sir." 

" Go," grunted Mr. Jorrocks, indignant at the slight thus put on 
his M.F.H.-ship. 

The footman presently returned, followed by a very smiling 
comely-looking personage, dressed in black silk, with sky-blue ribbons 
in her jaunty little cap and collar, who proceeded in a most voluble 
manner to express with her hands, and tongue, and eyes, Sir Archi- 
bald's regrets that he had been suddenly summoned to town, adding 



122 EANDLEY CROSS; 

that he had left word that they were to make the expected guest as 
comfortable as possible, and show him every possible care and 
attention. 

" Ah, well, that's summut like," smiled Mr. Jorrocks, with a jerk ol 
his head, thinking what a good-looking woman she was. In another 
instant he was on the top step of the entrance beside her, giving her 
soft hand a sly squeeze as she prepared to help him out of his rever- 
sible coat. " Take the quad to the stable," said he to the footman, 
and bid 'em take great care on 'im — adding, with a leer at the lady, 
" gave a'most a 'underd for him." So saying, hack like, the horse 
was left to take its chance, while our fat friend followed the fair lady 
into the library. 

" I'll have a fire lighted directly," observed she, looking round the 
spacious apartment, which, like many bachelors' company rooms, 
felt pretty innocent of fuel. 

" Fiddle the fire ! " exclaimed Mr. Jorrocks, " fiddle the fire I 
dessay you've got a good 'un in your room, — I'll go there." 

" Couldn't for the ivorld" whispered Mrs. Markham, with a shake 
^f her head, glancing her large hazel eyes lovingly upon Jorrocks. 
" What if Sir Archey should hear ! " 

" Oh, he'll never hear," rejoined our friend confidently. 

" Wouldn't he?" retorted Mrs. Markham, "you don't know what 
servants are if you think that. Bless ye ! they watch me just as a 
cat watches a mouse." 

" Well, then, you must come in to me," observed Mr. Jorrocks, 
adding — " I can't be left mopin' alone, you know." 

"It must be after they've gone to bed, then," whispered the lady. 

A hurrying housemaid now appearing with a red hot poker, Mrs. 
Markham drew back and changed the whispering conversation into 
an audible, 

" And please sir, what would you like to 'ave for dinner, sir ? " 

" Oh, I don't care," shrugged Mr. Jorrocks, " wot 'ave you got ? " 

" There's soup, and fish, and meat, and game, and poultry ; what- 
ever you like to 'ave I dare say." 

" Humph" mused Mr. Jorrocks, wishing the housemaid further, 
*' I'll 'ave a bit o' fish, with a beef steak, and afizzant to follow, say — " 

" No soup ? " observed Mrs. Markham. 

" No ; I doesn't care nothin' 'bout soup, 'less it's turtle," replied 
he with a toss of his head. 

" I'm afraid, there is no turtle, sir," replied Mrs. Markham, well 
knowing there was not. " Gravy, macaroni, mulligatawney." 

" No, jest fish, and sfreak, and fizzant," rejoined Mr. Jorrocks, " Cod 
and hoister sauce, say — and p'raps a couple o' dozen o' hoisters to 
begin with, — jest as a whet you know." 

" Any sweets ? " asked the lady significantly. 

" No, I'll 'ave my sweets arter," winked Mr. J. licking his lips. 

" Open tart, apple fritters, omelette, any thing of that sort ? " con 



OB, MB. JOBBOCKS'S HUNT. 



123 



tinues she ; intimating with her eye that the loitering housemaid 
might hear his answer. 

" No ; I'll fill hup the chinks wi' cheese," replied Mr. Jorrock^', 
stroking his stomach. 




MR. JORROCKS IN CLOVER. 



"And wine ? " asked the housekeeper ; adding, "the butler's away 
with Sir Archey, but I 'ave the key of the cellar." 

" That's all right ! " exclaimed our friend, adding, " I'll drink his 
'ealth in a bottle of his best." 

"Port ? " asked Mrs. Markham. 

"Port in course," replied Mr. J. with a hoist of his eyebrows. 

l2 



124 HAND LEY CBOSS ; 

adding, " but mind I doesn't call the oldest the best — far from it — . 
it's oftentimes the wust. No," continued he, " give me a good fruity 
wine ; a wine with a grip o' the gob, that leaves a mark on the side 
o' the glass ; not your weak woe-begone trash, that would be water if 
it wasn't wine." 

" P'raps you'd like a little champagne at dinner," suggested Mrs. 
Markham. 

" Champagne," repeated Mr. Jorrocks thoughtfully, " Champagne ! 
well I wouldn't mind a little champagne, only I wouldn't like it 
hiced ; doesn't want to 'ave all my teeth set a chatterin' i' my 'ead ; 
harn't got so far advanced in gentility as to like my wine froze — I'm 
a Post Hoffice Directory, not a Peerage man," added he with a broad 
grin. 

" Indeed," smiled Mrs. Markham, not exactly understanding the 
simile. 

" Folks talk about the different grades o' society," observed Mr. 
Jorrocks, with a smile and a pshaw, " but arter all's said and done 
there are but two sorts o' folks i' the world, Peerage folks and Post 
Hoffice Directory folks — Peerage folks, wot think it's all right and 
proper to do their tailors, and Post Hoffice Directory folks wot think 
it's the greatest sin under the sun not to pay twenty shillins i' the 
pund — greatest sin under the sun 'cept kissm' and then tellinV' 
added he, in an under tone, with a wink, as he drew his hand across 
his jolly lips. 

" Well, then, you'll have it iced," observed Mrs. Markham, in a 
tone for the housemaid to hear. " Just a few minutes plunge in the 
pail, — enough to dull the glass p'raps ? " continued she. 

" Well," mused our friend, " as you are mistress o' the revels, I'll 
leave that to you, and I makes no doubt," added he, with another 
sly squeeze of her soft hand, now that the housemaid's back was 
turned, u I shall fare uncommon well." 

And Mrs. Markham, seeing that the maid was bent on out-staying 
her, sailed away with a stately air, ordering her, in a commanding 
tone, to " bring some wood to the fire." 

And Mr. Jorrocks, we need scarcely say, had a very good dinner, 
and spent his evening very pleasantly. 

Next morning,^ in accordance with Sir Archey's injunctions, as 
Mr. Jorrocks sat at a capital breakfast, Mr. Snapshot, the keeper, 
lent to know if he would please to go out shooting, or coursing, or 
rabbiting, and finding that the covers were near the house, and 
pretty full of pheasants, our M.F.H. thought he might as well have a 
" blaze among 'em " before he went home. Accordingly he sought 
Sir Archey's dressing-room, and borrowed a pair of his best thick 
shoes and leather gaiters, which, with a fustian coat of the keeper's, 
made him pretty perfect, and the stables being in the way to the 
kennels, he thought he might as well see how his hack was, and look 
at his proposed purchase. Accordingly, preoeded by Mr. Snapshot, 



OR, MR. JORROCKS'S HUNT. 12* 

he passed through a lofty, deserted-looking, cobwebby, ten-stalled 
stable, with a two-stalled one beyond, in which were a couple 0/ 
shooting ponies, of which Mr. Snapshot spoke approvingly ; then 
crossing the central passage, they traversed another two-stall, and 
entered upon a somewhat better conditioned corresponding stable to 
the ten. 

First there stood Mr. Jorrocks's hundred-guinea horse, with a 
wretched old rag of a rug over it, then a pair of better-clothed 
browns that Snapshot alluded to as " our 'cage 'orses ; " then, as Mr. 
Jorrocks passed on to a bright bang-tailed bay beyond, thinking that 
would be his friend, Snapshot seized him suddenly by the arm, wit} 
a " take care of 'im, sir ! take care ! — He'll hick ye to a certainty I " 

"Wot, he's wicious is he ? " observed Mr. Jorrocks coolly, eyeing 
Lhe now well laid-back ears and exuberant white of the eye. 

" Most vicious brute alive ! " replied Mr. Snapshot. " If he was to 
get you off, he'd stand considerin' whether he should kick out your 
right eye or your left." 

" /ft-deed," mused Mr. Jorrocks — " pleasant 'oss to 'ave." 

" We're expectin' an old gent from Handley Cross to look at 'im," 
observed the keeper, "but I think he'll have to be crazier than they 
say he is afore he buys 'im." 

" I think so too," assented Mr. Jorrocks — stumping on out of 
heels' reach. 

They then got the dogs out of the kennel, and proceeded to the 
pheasants. 

Mr. Jorrocks, being out of practice, did not make much of a hand 
at first, which, coupled with the injunctions all the servants were 
under to make the stranger as comfortable as possible, induced Snap- 
shot to take him to the home cover, when the pheasants rising in 
clouds and the hares streaming out like sand ropes, our worthy friend 
very soon bagged his five brace of pheasants and three hares. Snap- 
shot, now thinking "tipping time" was come, and feeling for his 
pheasants, proposed a truce, when Mr. Jorrocks, handing him the 
gun, picked out three brace of the best birds, with which he trudged 
away, leaving the astonished Snapshot to follow with the rest. Hares 
he wouldn't take, thinking his riotous hounds would kill him plenty 
of them. He then very coolly locked the pheasants up in his vehicle, 
and ordering the herse to be put-to, was ready for a start by the time 
it came to the door. With a loving leave-taking of Mrs. Markham, 
he was presently in his rattle-trap and away. A favourable road 
incline with the horse's head towards home, 'sent the hundred-guinea 
nag along, and Mr. Jorrocks began to think it " wasn't so bad as it 
seemed." 

As he neared the last unlodged gates in Sir Archey's grounds, he 
saw another vehicle approaching, and each driver thinking to get the 
other to open the gate, they timed themselves so as to meet with it 
between them. 



116 EANDLEY CROSS; 

" Sky ye a copper who opens it ! M at length exclaimed Mr 
Jorrocks, after a good stare at his much muffled up vis-a-vis. 

" Eads or tails ? " continued he, producing a half-a-crown piece — 
" Eads I win ! tails you lose ! " 

" Heads ! " cried the stranger. 

" Its tails ! " replied Mr. Jorrocks, pretending to look at it, " so 
you opens it." 

The youth then got out and did so. 

" Prop it hopen ! prop it hopen ! " exclaimed Mr. Jorrocks, 
adding, " there arn't no cattle in either field, and it may as well 
stand that way as not." 

The gentleman did as he was bid, drawing his vehicle — a German 
waggon with three crests (very symptomatic of money) — alongside of 
Mr. Jorrocks's. 

"You'll be agoin' to Sir Harchey's, I guess," observed Mr. 
Jorrocks, after scrutinising his fat, vacant face intently. 

" I am," replied the stranger. 

"Well, I'm jest a comin' from there," continued our friend, 
stroking his chin complacently, thinking of the pheasants and the 
fun he had had. 

" Indeed," smiled the gentleman. 

" He's not at 'ome," observed Mr. Jorrocks. 

" At home to me" replied the stranger, with a man-of-the-house 
sort of air. 

"Humph," mused Mr. Jorrocks, adding, after a pause, — "Well, 
now blow me tight, I shouldn't be at all s'prised, if they're been a 
takin' o' me for you. Thought they were sweeter upon me than a 
mere 'oss-dealin ? case required, unless indeed they took me for a most 
egregius John Ass." 

" Hope they've used you well," observed the stranger. 

" Capital" replied Mr. Jorrocks, " and if it wasn't that I 'ave a 
'ticklar engagement, I wouldn't mind returnin' and spendin' the 
evenin' with you. Independent of a capital dinner, I had just as 
good a drink as man need wish for. Amost two bottles of un- 
deniable black strap, besides et ceteras, and no more 'ead ache than 
the crop o' my wip." 

" Indeed," observed the stranger, thinking he was lucky to escape 
such a sand-bag. 

" True, I assure you," affirmed Jorrocks — " shouldn't know that 
I'd taken more nor my usual quantity ; shot as well as ever I did i' 
my life this mornin', and altogether I'm uncommon pleased with my 
jaunt, and that reminds me," continued he, flourishing his whip 
bag-man-i-cally over his head, and thinking how he had got to the 
windward of Sir Archey, "you can do summat for me — I'm Mr. 
Jorrocks, the M.F.H. — you'll most likely have 'eard o' me — I 'unts 
the country. Well, I've been to look at an 'oss of Sir Harchey's — a 
werry nice h'animal he is, but 'ardly hup to my weight — I'm a 



OK MB. JOBBOCKS'S HUNT. 



127 



sixteen stunner you see. 'Ave the goodness to make my compliments 
to Sir Harchey, and tell 'im I'm werry much 'bliged by his purlite 
hoffer on 'im, and that I'm werry sorry he wasn't at 'ome, so that I 
might 'ave 'ad the pleasure o' makin' his personal 'quaintance, as 
well as that of his Port ; " so saying, Mr. Jorrocks shortened his 
hold of the reins, and dropping the point of his whip scientifically 
into the Handley Cross hack, bowed to his friend, and bowled away 
homewards. 

And when Sir Archey returned, and found the indignities that had 
been put upon him, he was exceeding wrath, and vowed vengeance 
against the grocer. 



CHAPTER XVI. 



A SPORTING LECTOR. 

FOR some days after 
Mr. Jorrocks's return 
from Pluckwelle Park, 
Diana Lodge was lite- 
rally besieged with 
people, offering him 
horses of every sort, 
size, and description. 
A man " wanting a 
horse" — and, confound 
it ! some people are 
always "wanting" 
them, and never buy, 
— a man " wanting a 
horse," we say, is al- 
ways an object of in- 
terest to the idle and 
unemployed, looking 
out for horses for other people ; and Handley Cross being as idle a 
place as any, everybody seemed bent upon propagating the great 
M.F.H.'s wants. Even the ladies, who don't generally bestir them- 
selves in such matters, seemed smitten with the mania ; and a hone 
being a horse with them, the curiosities their inquiries produced were 
very amusing. The horses that came were of all prices, from a hundred 
guineas down to thirty shillings; indeed, Mrs. Pearlash, the laundress, 
intimated that she might take " rayther " less than thirty for her old 
woe-begone white Rosinante. Our worthy M.F.H. was indebted to 
his wife for the offer of it ; Mrs. Jorrocks making the subject of 
" osses " one of her standing topics of conversation, as well with her 




A BRANDY-AND-WATER COMMITTEE. 



I2S BANDLEY CROSS; 

visitors as to all those with whom she came in contact. Having 
casually mentioned her great sporting-spouse's wants to Mrs. Pearl- 
ash, that useful functionary, sticking her fists in her sides, for the 
purpose of revolving the matter in her mind, said, " Well, now, she 
didn't know but they might part with their horse, and she'd ask her 
old man ; " who readily assented to the sale of an aminal that could 
hardly crawl. Jorrocks was highly indignant when it came, and 
desired Mrs. J. not to meddle with matters she didn't understand. 

Mr. Jorrocks, on his part, having about satisfied himself that 
hunting a pack of hounds was a very different thing to riding after 
them, as near to them or as far off as he liked, repelled all inquiries 
as to when he would be going out again, and when he would begin 
to advertise, by saying, mysteriously, "that he must get things a 
little forwarder fast." The fact was, he wanted to pick up a hunts- 
man at whip's wages, and had written to sundry friends in the City 
and elsewhere, describing what he wanted, and intimating that the 
whip might occasionally have to " 'unt the 'ounds when he was away, 
or anything of that sort." His City friends, who didn't approve of 
his proceedings, and, moreover, had plenty of other matters to attend 
to of their own, gave his letters very little heed, if indeed they took 
any notice of them at all. Some of his old cronies shook their 
heads, and said they " wished any good might come of it ; " while 
others said " he'd much better have stuck to his shop ; " adding a 
wish that things might continue " serene " in the " lane." 

Altogether Jorrocks's proceedings were not approved of in the 
commercial world, where hunting and gambling are often considered 
synonymous. He, however, was all swagger and cock-a-hoop, vowing 
that he had got " the best pack of 'ounds in the world ; " adding, that 
11 they would make the foxes cry * Capevi ! ' " 

Belinda's beauty and unaffected manners drew Mrs. Jorrocks plenty 
of callers, who soon found herself a much greater woman at Handley 
Cross than she was in Great Coram Street. 

Belinda might have had an offer every day in the week, but some- 
how the suitors never could get the old girl out of the room — an error 
into which ladies who trade in beauty other than that of their own 
daughters, are very apt to fall. Mrs. Jorrocks wouldn't admit that 
she was in any ways indebted to Belinda for her company, and of 
course sat to receive her own guests. Not that Belinda wanted any 
of their offers ; for, as Ben intimated, she had a young chap in her 
eye, who will shortly appear in our pages : but Mrs. Jorrocks, like a 
skilful old mouser, as she was, did not let that out. 

So Belinda was talked of, and toasted, and toasted, and talked off, 
and " set out " for no end of people. The Jorrocks's funds rose ten 
per cent, at least from having her, and the Barnington ones were 
depressed to a similar extent. 

Our great M.F.H. not finding any responses to his inquiries for a 
whip, and being dreadfully anxious to be doing, resolved to make 



OR, MR. JORROCKS'S HUNT 12H 

known his wants through the medium of the newspapers ; and while 
his bold advertisement for a " huntsman " (not a whip who could 
'unt the 'ounds occasionally) was working, he bethought him, instead 
of exposing his incompetence as a huntsman, to display his sporting 
knowledge in a lecture, in which he could also inculcate the precepts 
he wished practised towards himself, both at home and in the field. 

Accordingly, he enlisted the assistance of Captain Doleful, to whose 
province such arrangements seemed peculiarly to belong, and the 
large room of the Dragon was engaged and tastefully fitted up under 
their joint superintendence. A temporary platform was placed at 
the far end, surmounted by a canopy of scarlet cloth, tastefully looped 
up in the centre with an emblematical sporting device, formed of a 
hunting-cap, a pair of leather breeches, a boot-jack, and three foxes' 
brushes. Inside the canopy was suspended a green-shaded lamp, 
throwing a strong light upon the party below, and the room was 
brilliantly lighted with wax both from the chandeliers and refleoting- 
mirrors against the wall. The doors were beseiged long before the 
appointed hour for commencing, and ere the worthy lecturer made 
his appearance there was not standing room to be had in any part. 
The orchestra was also full, and in it " we observed many elegantly 
dressed ladies," as the reporters say. 

Precisely at eight o'clock Mr. Jorrocks ascended the platform, 
attended by Captain Doleful, Roger Swizzle, Romeo Simpkins, and 
Abel Snorein, and was received with the most enthusiastic cheering. 
He wore the full-dress uniform of the hunt ; sky-blue coat lined with 
pink silk, canary-coloured shorts, and white silk stockings. His 
neckcloth and waistcoat were white, and a finely plaited shirt-frill 
protruded through the stand-up collar of the latter. Bunches of 
white ribbon dangled at his knees. In his hand he held a roll of 
notes, while some books of reference and a tumbler of brandy and 
water, were placed by Benjamin on a table at the back of the plat- 
form. Benjamin had on his new red frock with blue collar, cord 
breeches, and white stockings. 

After bowing most familiarly to the company, Mr. Jorrocks cleared 
his voice with a substantial hem, and then addressed the meeting. 

" Beloved 'earers ! — beloved I may call you, for though I have not 
the pleasure of knowin' many of you, I hope werry soon to make 
your intimate acquaintance. Beloved 'earers, I say, I have come 'ere 
this evenin' for the double purpose of seeing you, and instructin' of 
you on those matters that have brought me to this your beautiful and 
salubrisome town. (Cheers.) Beautiful I may call it, for its archi- 
tectural proportions are grand, and salubrisome it must be when it 
boasts so many cheerful, wigorous countenances as I now see gathered 
around me. (Loud applause.) And if by my comin', I shall spread 
the great light of sportin' knowledge, and enable you to perserve 
those glowin' mugs when far removed from these waters, then shall 1 
be a better doctor than either Swizzle or Sebastian, and the day that 



130 HANDLE 7 CROSS; 

drew John Jorrocks from the sugars of retirement in Great Coram 
Street will henceforth remain red-lettered in the mental calendar of 
his existence. (Loud cheers.) Bed-lettered did I say ? Ah ! wot a 
joyous colour to denote a great and glorious ewent ! Believe me 
there is no colour like red — no sport like 'unting. 

" Blue coats and canaries," observed Mr. Jorrocks looking down at 
his legs, '• are well enough for dancin' in, but the man wot does 
much dancin' will not do much 'unting. But to business — Lectorin' 
is all the go — and why should sportin' be excluded ? Is it because 
sportin' is its own champion ? Away with the idea ! Are there 
no pints on which grey experience can show the beacon lights to 'ot 
youth and indiscretion ? Assuredly there are ! Full then of har- 
dour — full of keenness, one pure concentrated essence of 'unting, 
John Jorrocks comes to enlighten all men capable of instruction on 
pint-, that all wish to be considered conversant with. 

" Well did that great man, I think it was "Walter Scott, but if it 
war'nt, 'twas little Bartley, the boot-maker, say, that there was no 
young man wot would not rather have a himputation on his morality 
than on his 'ossmanship, and yet, how few there are wot really know 
anything about the matter ! Oh, but if hignorance be bliss 'ow 'appy 
must they be ! (Loud cheers and laughter.) 

" 'Unting is the sport of kings, the image of war without its guilt, 
and only five-and-twenty per cent, of its danger ! In that word, 
* 'unting,' wot a ramification of knowledge is compressed ! The 
choice of an 'oss — the treatment of him when got — the groomin' at 
home, the ridin' abroad — the boots, the breeches, the saddle, the bridle, 
the 'ound, the 'untsman, the feeder, the Fox ! Oh, how that beautiful 
word, Fox, gladdens my 'eart, and warms the declinin' embers of my 
age. (Cheers.) The 'oss and the 'ound were made for each other, 
and natur threw in the Fox as a connectin' link between the two. 
(Loud cheers.) He's perfect symmetry, and my affection for him, 
is a perfect paradox. In the summer I loves him with all the 
hardour of affection ; not an 'air of his beautiful 'ead would I hurt ; 
the sight of him is more glorious nor the Lord Mayor's show ! but 
when the hautumn comes — when the brownin' ^opse and cracklin' 
stubble proclaim the farmer's fears are past, then, dash my vig, 'ow I 
glories in pursuin' of him to destruction, and holdin' him above the 
bayin' pack ! (Loud cheers.) 

" And yet,*' added Mr. Jorrocks thoughtfully, " it ar'nt that I 
loves the fox less, but that I loves the 'ound more, as the chap says 
in the play, when he sticks his friend in the .gizzard. (Roars of 
laughter and applause.) 

" The 'oss loves the 'ound, and I loves both ; and it is that love 
wot brings me to these parts, to follow the all-glorious callin' of the 
chase, and to enlighten all men capable of illumination. To-night I 
shall instruct you with a lecture on dealin'. 

" ' who shall counsel a man in the choice of a wife or an 'oss 't ' 



OR, MR. JORROCKS'S HUNT. 131 

asks that inspired writer, the renowned Johnny Lawrence. ' The 
buyer has need of a hundred eyes, the seller of but one, 'says anothei 
equestrian conjuror. Who can take up an 'oss book and read 'bout 
splints, and spavins, and stringalts, and corns, and cuttin', and farcy, 
and dropsy, and fever, and thrushes, and grease, and gripes, and 
mallenders, and sallenders, and ring-bones, and roarin', etcetera, 
etceterorem, without a shudder lest such a complication of evils 
should fall to his lot ? Who can expect a perfect 'oss, when he sees 
what an infinity of hills they are heirs to ? I hopes I haven't come 
to 'Andley Cross to inform none on you what an 'oss is, nor to 
explain that its component parts are four legs, a back-bone, an 'ead, 
a neck, a tail, and other etceteras, too numerous to insert in an 'and 
bill, as old Georgy Robins used to say. 

" 'Bavens, wot a lot of rubbish has been written about 'osses ! " 
continued the worthy lecturer, casting up his eyes. 

" I took a fut rule t'other night and measured off a whole yard and 
an 'arf of real down-right 'ard printin' on the single word 'oss ; each 
succeedin' writer snubbin' the last, swearin' he know'd nothin', until 
one would expect to arrive at the grand climax of hignorance, instead 
of gleaning wisdom as one went. There was Bartlet, and Bracken, 
and Gibson, and Griffiths, and Taplin, and Stewart, and Youatt, and 
'Ands, and Lawrence, and Wite, and Percival, and Hosmer, and 
Peters, and Anonymous by 'Ookem, and Wilkinson on Lock-jaw, and 
Colman, and Sewell, and Happerley, and Caveat Emptier, all snubbin' 
each other like so many snobs. 

"Away with them ally say I! n exclaimed Mr. Jorrocks, throwing 
out his hands, to the imminent danger of his supporters right and 
left. " Away with them all ! Away with all such rubbish, say 1 1 
John Jorrocks is the only real enlightened sapient sportsman ; and 
'ere, 'ere from this lofty heminence I hurls defiance at the whole tribe 
of word-manglm', grammar-stranglin', cotation-crammin' cocks ! 
bids them to a grand tilt or tournament of jaw, where hevery man 
may do his best, and I'll make mince-meat of them all — cater- 
mauchously chaw them up, as the Americans say. (Loud cheers.) 

"But, gently old bouy," continued he to himself, "you musn't be 
too 'ard on the fools, or you'll kill 'em out-right ; curb your 
wehemence a little ; come, I'll give you a drop of brandy and water ; " 
saying which, Mr. Jorrocks retired to the back of the platform, and 
took such a swig at the tumbler, as left nothing, as he observed, to 
" carry over." 

Presently he returned, smacking his lips, and resumed in a more 
composed tone as follows : — " Talkin' about writers," said he, " the 
best informed man to my mind wot ever wrote on equestrian matters, 
was Mr. Gambado, who held the distinguished post of ridin' -master 
to the Doge of Wenice. Hosmer may be more learned, and Happerley 
more latiney, but for real down-right shrewd hobserwation, the Doge's 
man flogs all t'others, as the Kentucky boy said. Most writers go 



132 HANDLE Y CBOSS; 

out of their way to bring in summut wot does not belong to the 
subject, but Gambado sticks to his text like a leech. Hosmer, for 
instance, tells us that a hostrich can outstrip an 'oss, but what mattei 
does that make, seein' that no one would like to go cuttin' across 
country on a hostrich that could get an 'oss. Another tells us how 
many 'osses Xerxes had in his army after he passed the Hellespont, 
but it would have been far more to the purpose to have told us how 
many Mason or Bartley bought at the last 'Orncastle fair. 

" Still I don't mean to say that Gambado was all over right, for 
there are points upon which the Doge's man and I differ, though 
fashion, in course, has altered things since his time. He writes upon 
'osses in general, and says little about those for carry in' a scarlet, 
without bringin' it to shame, which is wot we most want information 
upon. Some of his positions too are bad. Eor instance, talkin' of 
eyes, he says, some people make a great bother about an 'oss's eyes, 
jest as if they have anything to do with his haction, and Geoffrey 
says, that if a man chooses to ride without a bridle it may be matter 
of moment to him to have an 'oss with an eye or two, but that if he 
has a bridle, and also a pair of eyes of his own, it is yariecth'e im- 
material whether the 'oss sees or not. Now, from this, I thinks we 
may infer that the Doge either did not keep 'ounds, or that the 
country he 'unted was flat and unenclosed, otherwise Gambado would 
certainlie have felt the inconwenience of ridin' a blind 'un. Indeed, 
I almost think, from his declining the Rev. Mr. Nutmeg's offer of a 
mount, on his brown 'oss, that Mr. Gambado either was not a sports- 
man, or had arrived at a time of life when the exertion of 'unting was 
too great for him. 

" The case was this," observed Mr. Jorrocks, taking up the work, 
" and the advice is as good now as it was then. Nutmeg says, in his 
letter to the ex-ridin' master, who appears to have been actin' as a 
sort of chamber counsel on 'oss cases : — ' You must know, sir, I am 
werry fond of 'unting, and live in as fine a scentin' country as any in 
the kingdom. The soil is pretty stiff, the leaps large and frequent, 
and a great deal of timber to get over. Now, sir, my brown 'oss is a 
werry capital 'unter ; and though he is slow, and I cannot absolutely 
ride over the 'ounds (indeed the country is so enclosed that I do not 
see so much of them as I could wish), yet, in the end, he generally 
brings me in before the 'unsman goes home with the dogs.' 

" And here let me observe," said Mr. Jorrocks, breaking off, " that 
that is neither good sportin' nor good language, and Nutmeg, I should 
think, had been one of your Macadamizin' happetite 'unting parsons, 
or he would neither have talked of ridin' over the 'ounds, or yet being 
content to draggle up after the worry, and just as the dogs, as he 
calls them, were going home — But let that pass." Mr. Jorrocks 
then resumed his reading — 

" * Now, sir, my brown 'oss is a noble leaper, and never gave me a 
fall in his life in that way ; but he has got a hawkward trick (though 




A HORSE WITH ONLY ONE FAULT. 



OB, MR. JOBBOCKS'S BUNT. 132 

he dears everything with his fore legs in capital style) of leaving the 
other two on the wrong side of the fence ; and if the gate or stile 
happens to be in a sound state, it is a work of time and trouble to 
get his hind legs over. He clears a ditch finely indeed, with two feet, 
but the others constantly fall in ; that it gives me a strange pain in 
my back, very like what is called a lumbago ; and unless you kindly 
stand my friend and instruct me how I am to bring these hind legs 
after me, I fear I shall never get rid of it. If you please, sir, you 
may ride him a 'unting yourself any day you will please to appoint, 
and you shall be 'eartily welcome.' 

" To this letter Gambado replied as follows : — 

u i Reverend Sir, 

" ' Your brown 'oss being so good an 'unter, and as you observe, 
having so fine a notion of leaping I should be 'appy if I could be of any 
service in assistin 1 you to make his two hind legs follow the others ; but, 
as you observe, they seem so werry pemverse and obstinate, that I cherish 
but small 'opes of prewailin" upon them — / have looked and found many 
such cases, but no cure — However, in examinin' my papers I have found 
out somethiri* that may prove of service to you, in your werry lament- 
able case — An oat-stealer or ostler has informed me, that it is a common 
trick played upon bagsters or London riders, when they are not generous 
to the servants in the inn, for a wicked boy or tivo to watch one of them 
as he turns out of the gateway, and to pop a bush or stick under his 
'oss's tail, which he instantly brings down upon the stick and 'olds it 
fast, kickirf at the same time at such a rate as to dislodge the bagman 
that bestrides him — Suppose then, when your 'oss has floivn over a gate 
or stile in his old way, with his fore legs only, you ivere to dismount, 
and clap your vip or stick properly under his tail, and then mount 
again ; the puttin' him in a little motion will set him on his kickin' 
principles in a hurry, and it's ten to one but by this means you get 
his hind legs to follow the others — You will be able, perhaps, to 
extricate your stick from its place of confinement when you are up and 
over {if you arrft doivn) but should you not, it is but sixpence gone. 1 
send you this as a mere surmise ; perhaps it may answer ; perhaps not. 

" ' / thank you for your offer, which is a werry kind one, but I beg 
to be excused accepting it; all my hambitim being to add to the theory 
with as little practice as possible. 1 

•' * Add to the theory with as little practice as possible,' " repeated 
Mr. Jorrocks, — " That's wot a great many writers are anxious to do 
at the present day — But to proceed — Another circumstance wot leads 
me to suppose that Jeffery was not an 'unter is this. In some 
obserwations in his Preface on a portrait of Mr. Gambado that 
adorns the frontispiece, the editor says that it was done by a friend 
from memory, and tinctured with the prejudice of friendship. 
' Jeffery,' he says, • was not so slim, nor was his eyes so poignant ; 



134 HANDLEY GROSS; 

nor was he ever known to be possessed of a pair of top-boots himself 
though he often mentions boots in his writings.' 

" That I think," observed Mr. Jorrocks, " is conclusive. But then 
what does it prove ? Why, that if Gambado, the best of all sportin' 
writers, knew nothin' of 'unting, it is the more incumbent on John 
Jorrocks to supply the deficiency. 

" But whether Gambado, if I may be allowed to speak of him with 
such familiarity, was a fox-hunter or not, it is quite clear that he 
possessed a knowledge of 'osses far superior to any man of the present 
day. * The Academy for Grown 'Ossmen,' is a perfect cext-book in 
its way, and when a man has read Gambado's instructions how to 
choose an 'oss, how to tackle him properly, in what sort of dress to 
ride him, how to mount and manage him, how to ride him out, and 
above all how to ride him 'ome again, dull must be the dog wot has 
occasion to go to a riding-school. 

" There is a wast of fancy about dealin' — far more than relates to 
ihe mere colour ; indeed some say that colour is immaterial, and 
there is an old saw about a good 'oss never being of a bad colour, 
but the first question a green 'orn asks is the colour of the prad. 
Old Sfceropes says, if you have no predilection that way, choose a 
mouse-coloured dun, for it has the peculiar adwantage of lookin' 
equally well all the year round. A black list down the back makes it 
still more desirable, as the bystanders will suppose you are ridin' with 
a crupper, a practice no finished 'ossmen ought to neglect. This 
latter point, however, is confuted by Gambado, who says, ' be werry 
shy of a crupper if your 'oss naturally throws his saddle forward. It 
will certainlie make his tail sore, set him a kickin', and werry likely 
bring you into trouble.' 

" How perplexin' must all this be to a beginner," exclaimed Mr. 
Joirocks, throwing up his hands. 

"The height of an 'oss, Gambado says, is perfectly immaterial, 
prowided ,he is higher behind than before. Nothin' is more pleasin 1 
to a traveller than the sensation of continually gettin' forward ; 
whereas the ridin' of an 'oss of a contrary make is like swarmin' the 
bannisters of a staircase, when, though perhaps you really advance, 
you feel as if you were goin' backwards. 

" Gambado says nothin' about the size of an 'oss's head, but he 
says he should carry it low, that he may have an eye to the ground 
and see the better where he steps. Some say the 'ead should be as 
large as possible, inasmuch as the weight tends to prewent the 'oss 
from rearin', which is a wice dangerous in the highest degree ; my 
idea is, that the size of the 'ead is immaterial, for the 'oss doesn't go 
on it, at least he didn't ought to do I know. 

" The ears cannot well be too long, Gambado says, for a judicious 
rider steers his course by fixin' his eyes between them. This, how- 
ever, is a disputed point, and old Dickey Lawrence recommends 
that they should be large and loppin' in a" horizontal direction, by 



OR, MR. JORROCKS'S HUNT. 135 

which position no rain can possibly enter, and the 'oss will have no 
occasion to shake his 'ead, a habit which he says not only disturbs 
the brain, but frequently brings on the mad staggers. 
" Here again the doctors differ 1 

"It seems agreed on all hand that the less a 'oss lifts his fore 
legs, the easier he will move for his rider, and he will likewise brush 
all the stones out of his way, which might otherwise throw him down. 
Gambado thinks if he turns his toes well out, he will disperse them 
right and left, and not have the trouble of kickin' the same stone a 
second time, but I don't see much adwantage in this, and think he 
might as well be kickin' the same stone as a fresh one. 

"There> can be no doubt that a Roman nose like Arterxerxes's 
adds greatly to the gravity of an 'oss's countenance. It has a fine 
substantial yeomen-like appearance, and well becomes the father of a 
family, a church dignitary, or a man in easy circumstances. — A 
Roman nose and a shovel hat are quite unique. — Some think a small 
eye a recommendation, as they are less exposed to injuries than large 
ones, but that is matter of fancy. The nostrils, Lawrence says, 
should be small, and the lips thick and leathery, which latter property 
aids the sensibility of the mouth w r erry considerably. — Some prefer an 
arched neck to a ewe, but the latter has a fine consequential hair, and 
ought not to be slighted. 

" It may be prejudice, but I confess I likes an 'oss's back wot 
inclines to a hog bend. — Your slack backs are all very well for 
carryin' miller's sacks, but rely upon it there's nothin' like the out- 
ward bow for makin' them date their leaps properly. Many men in 
the Surrey remember my famous 'oss Star-gazer. He was made in 
that form, and in his leaps threw an arch like the dome of St. Paul's. 
A long back is a grand thing for a family 'oss. — I've seen my cousin 
Joe clap six of his brats and his light porter on the back of the old 
Crockerdile, and the old nag would have carried another if his tail 
had been tied up. — In the 'unting field, however, one seldom sees 
more than one man on an 'oss, at a time. Two don't look sportin', 
and the world's governed by appearances. 

" Some people object to high blowers, that is, 'osses wot make a 
noise like steam-engines as they go. I don't see no great objection 
to them myself, and think the use they are of in clearin' the way in 
crowded thoroughfares, and the protection they afford in dark nights 
by prevent in' people ridin' against you, more than counterbalance any 
disconwenience. — Gambado says, a bald face, wall eyes, and white 
legs, answer the same purpose, but if you can get all four, it will be 
so much the better. 

" There is an author who says the hip-bones should project well 
beyond the ribs, which form will be found werry conwenient in 'ot 
weather, as the rider may hang his hat on them occasionally, whilst 
he wipes the perspiration from his brow, addin' that that form givei 
the hannimal greater facility in passin' through stable-doors, but I am 



136 HANDLEY CBOSS; 

inclined to think, that the adwice is a little of what the French call 
pleasantre, and we call gammon ; at all events, I don't follow it. 

" Broken knees is nothin'. — Where, let me ax, is the man with the 
'oss that he will swear will never tumble down ? Geoffry indeed 
says, ' Be sure to buy a broken-knee'd 'oss whenever he falls in your 
way ; the best bit of flesh that ever was crossed will certainly come 
down one day or another ; whereas, one that has fallen (and scarified 
himself pretty tightly) never will again, if he can help it.' 

"At an American 'oss sale, I read of t'other day, a buyer exclaims-^ 

" * Vy, he's broken knee'd ! ' 

" ' Not at all, you mister,' cried the hauctioneer pertly. * The 
gen'leman wot sells this 'oss alivays marks his stud on the knee, that 
he may know 'em again' — haw! haw! haiv! " chuckled Mr. Jorrocks ; 
" * Lofty hactioned 'oss ! — struck his knee again his tooth ! ' I once 
heard a dealer declare on behalf of a broken-kneed 'un in the City. 

" There is an old sayin' in Spain, that a man wot would buy a 
mule without a fault must not buy one at all, and faultless 'osses are 
equally rare. Gil Bias's mule, if I recollects right, was ' all faults,' 
and there are many 'osses not much better. To be sure it makes a 
marvellous difference whether you are representin' the 'oss's qualities 
to an expectant purchaser, or are treatin' yourself to a bit of 
unwarnished truth, as we all must do occasionally. It is an unpleasant 
reflection, and says little for the morality of the age, or the merits of 
the Reform Bill, that, out of London, one can hardly get rid of an 
'oss without more or less doing wiolence to one's feelin's of integrity. 
'The purchaser has need of a hundred eyes, the sel'er of but one/ 
says the authority I quoted before ; but dash my vig, they require the 
seller to make up in tongue what he economises in wision. 

" Warrantin' an 'oss is highly inconwenient, 'specially when you've 
reason to know he's a screiv, and it requires a good deal of manage- 
ment to ewade the question so as not to diminish the price. I 
generally tries to laugh it off, sayin', ' Vy really warrantin' is quite out of 
fashion, and never thought of at Tat.'s ; ' or if the buyer is a young 
un, and apparently werdant, I says, ' Why, faith, / should say he's all 
right, but you can see the 'oss yourself, and can judge better nor I.' 

"Men that have much business of this sort ought to keep a slippery - 
tongued grum to whom they can refer a purchaser in a hoff 'and sort 
of way, as though it were beneath their dignity to know nothin' of 
the kind, and wished the grum to give every possible information, 
which the warmint knows a great deal better nor do." 

"A respectable looking grum wot can lie like truth is truly in- 
waluable to gen'lemen of this description. If a man is rich, he may 
cheat you with impunity ; it is only poor men wot suffer in con- 
sequence. Honesty is of no use to licensed 'oss dealers. Every man 
supposes they are rogues, and treat them accordingly. Who does not 
remember old bottle-nosed Eichards ? When any one axed his 
number, he said, ' Oh, you ax any shop-keeper in Hoxford-street 



OB, MB. JOBBOCKS'S HUNT. 13? 

where the biggest rogue lives, and he'll be sure to send you 
tome!' 

" But to the warranty ; as I said before, it's werry inconwenient 
warranting and if a customer sticks to his point, it is not a bad dodge 
to try and puzzle him by makin' him explain wot he means by a 
sound 'oss, and if he gets any way near the point, ax him if he can 
lay his 'and on his 'art, and say that he is not only sound but free 
from all impendin' disease. I once frightened a chap uncommon 
when we got this far, by exclaimin', ' I'm dashed if there ain't a hectic 
flush on your mug at this moment that looks werry like consumption.' 
He closed the bargain immediately, and under pretence of writin' a 
cheque, went into the 'ouse and had a good look at himself in the 
glass. Tat. is werry clever at this work, and when a Jonny-raw axes 
him if he warrants an 'oss sound, he exclaims with a hair of astonish- 
ment, * Warrant Mm sound ! Why sir, I wouldn't warrant that he's 
an 'oss, let alone that he's sound ' — haw, haw, haw. — My friend 
Dickey Grunt, who lisps werry much, did a clever thing in this line 
t'other day. He sold an uncommon green 'orn a broken-winded 'oss, 
lith^mg out when ax'd if he warranted him sound, ' Oh in courthe 
like all men I w-a-a-n-t him thound ; ' whereupon the youth paid 
the money and dispersed for a ride. Presently he comes back with 
a werry long wissage, and said, ' Vy, sir, this 'ere 'oss is broken- 
winded.' 

" i I knows it,' replies Dick, with the greatest effrontery. 

" * Then, sir, you must take him back and return me my swag, for 
you warranted him sound.' 

" ' No thuch thing, my good fellow,' replied Dick, 'you mithtook 
me altogether ; I thaid I wanted him thound ! not that I warranted 
him thound.' (Loud laughter.) 

" Old Joe Smith in Chiswell Street had a wicious nag wot would 
neither ride, nor drive, nor 'unt, nor do anything that a nag ought. 
Well, Joe took him to Barnet fair, where he fell in with a swaggerin' 
chap in tight nankeens and hessians, who axed him in a hoff 'and 
sort of way, if he knowed of anything that would knock his buggy 
about, to which Joe conscientiously replied he did, and sold him his 
'oss. Having got the tin, Joe left the town, for Barnet is only a 
dull place of recreation, when what should come past him like a flash 
of lightening but his old nag, with his 'ead i' the hair, kickin' and 
millin' the splash-board of a tidy yellow buggy, with a cane back, 
and red wheels picked out with green. Presently, up came the owner 
on a grey poster, with the traces all danglin' at his 'eels, and jist as 
he neared Joe, the old nag charged the rails of the new mound, 
snappin' the jimmey shafts like carrots, and leavin' the rest of the 
buggy scattered all over the road. 

"'Hooi, you rogue ! you willain ! you waggabone !' roared the 
buyer, gaspin' with rage and fatigue, ' I'll teach you to sell sich nags 
to family men of fortin ! You've all but been tie death of Mrs. and 

M 2 



138 &AfrDL£t CROSS; 

Miss Juggins and myself — Where do you live, you complicated 
abomination of a scoundrel ? ' 

" Now Joe, who is a hoiley little chap, cunnin' as the devil, and 
not easily put out of his way, 'special ven it's his interest not to be 
so, let Jug run on till he was fairly blown, when he werry coolly 
observed, jinglin' the odd pewter in his breeches pocket, 'My dear 
sir, you are labourin' under a werry considerable mistake. If you 
call to mind what you axed me, it was, if I knowed an 'oss to knock 
your buggy about, and egad ! if he hasn't done it to the letter, 
(pointin' to the remnants on the road,) I don't know what knockin' 
about is.' 

" Haw, haw, haw !" laughed Mr. Jorrocks, a chuckle in which the 
majority of the company joined. 

" Another chap that I know had an 'oss that was a capital 'unter, 
and good at everything but 'arness, which his soul disdained. Well, 
it didn't suit the owner's conwenience to keep anything but what the 
lawyers call qui tarn 'osses, that is to say, 'osses wot will ride as well 
a& drive ; so he looked out for a customer, and presently found h 
softish sort of chap in green spectacles, and a shiny wite 'at, who 
having tried him to ride, axed if he was quiet in 'arness. To this 
the owner had no hesitation in sayin' yes, for he had seen the nag 
standin' in 'arness without movin' a muscle, but when the buyer 
wanted to tack a carriage to ths ''arness — Oh, my eyes ! that was 
quite a different story ; and my lord rebelled, and kicked the ivoiture 
to bits. The buyer tried to return him, but the owner conwinced 
him he was wrong, at least he conwinced him he would not take him 
back, which was pretty nearly the same thing. 

" Daddy Higgins in Rupert-street had just such an 'oss as Joe 
Smith's — one of the reg'lar good-for-nothin's — and sold him to a 
quaker to draw his cruelty wan, assurin' him, when axed if he was 
quiet in harness, that it would delight Hobadiah's eyes to see him 
draw. Well, the quaker tried to tackle him, but the 'oss soon sent 
his 'eels through the splash board, and when Hobadiah remonstrated, 
all the Daddy did was to laugh, and assure him it would delight his 
eyes to see him draw, for the 'oss would never bear a pair of shafts 
in his life. 

" But enough of sellin' — It's time I was sayin' somethin' about 
buy in' — No easy matter either. 

" Speakin* of his time, Gambado said it was immaterial whether 
a purchaser went to Tattersall's, or Haldridge's or Meynell's, 'unt, or 
to his Majesty's, for it was probable he would be taken in wherever 
he went, and things are pretty much in the same state now. 

" The less a man knows about an 'oss, the more he expects, and 
the greater the probability of his thinkin' himself done. Oh, my 
beloved 'earers, 'appy is the day, when brimful of hignorance, the 
tyro enters on his first 'oss dealin' speckilation — Great may be his 
greenness, but age and experience will cure all that, and who wo lid 



OR, MR. JORROCKS'S HUNT. 139 

not barter grey-'eaded gumption for the joyousness of youthful con- 
fidence and indiscretion ? For that pure werdancy, wot &3nds 
ingenuous youth up back-slums in search of 'osses advertisin' for 
kind masters rather than high prices, the property of noblemen 
deceased, or hofficers goin' abroad ? (Applause.) 

" When I was a bouy, clods came to London expectin' to find it 
payed with gold, and many wot read the newspaper adwertisements 
must think it's the real place for humanity and 'oss flesh — sich shape 
— sich symmetry — sich action — sich temper, the most timid may ride, 
and sich bargins ! Who would trudge, when for twenty pounds he 
can have a cob fit to carry a castle, or a canterin' thorough-bred, 
that a child may ride. The werry trials they hoffer would keep a 
man gom,' prowided he could but get them. 

" No man fit to be at large will ever trouble a puff advertisement. 
If he does, he will find himself saddled with an 'oss that isn't worth 
his saddle, or may be, taken to a police-office for stealin' of him. 
Next, let him awoid choppin' and changin'. We know what we have, 
but we don't know what we may get, is a werry treasurable truism. 

" Whatever may be the risks of out-and-out dealin', there is no 
doubt but exchanging is by far the most certain loss ; and it is one 
of those provokin' uncertain certainties, for a man is never certain 
wot he loses. ' If he don't suit, I'll take him back,' says a dealer ; 
no doubt he will, but will he return you the tin ? No such thing ! He'll 
give you somethin' worse, and make you give him somethin' for doin' 
so, and the oftener you change, the worse you'll be mounted. 

" There's an old sayin' that it's easier to perceive the wrong than 
pursue the right ; and I reckon it's a vast easier to tell a man wot he 
should not buy than wot he should. Walk aloug Piccadilly any 
summer afternoon, and see the seedy screws shaking on the cab- 
stands ; there is age, wice, and infirmity, unaided by blisters or bran 
mashes. Flesh covers a multitude of sins, but cabby stands forth 
in the familar anatomy of high bones, and yet there be good shapes 
and good pints to admire, but no one would think of buyin' a cab 
'oss ! Still there is much good awoidance to be learned by lookin' 
them over. 

" * Who wants to buy an 'oss, wot can walk five, and trot twenty 
miles an hour ? " exclaimed a wag among the crowd before the bettin' 
room at Doncaster. * I do ! ' * I do ! ' i I do ! ' replied a dozen 
voices. * Then if I hears of sich a one, I'll let you know,' replied 
the gentleman ; and werry similar is my sitivation with regard to 
ddwisin' you where to purchase. One thing is quite certain, that you 
can't buy experience with another man's money, but then, havin' to 
pay for it, he will do best wot gets it for least. 

" The first step towards a purchase is to make up your mind what 
sort of an 'oss you want ; 'unter, 'ackney, charger, coach, or * qui 
tamer.' This is a most important point, especial where you go to a 
dealer's, where they never have less than thirty or forty, and as m<uij 



140 EANDLEY CROSS; 

more cormV from 'Orncastle or 'Owden, or at their farms in the 
country. For want of this previous arrangement, I once saw a rum 
scene between Septimus Green, old Yerd Antique's ninth son, and 
Tommy Doem, wot kept the Pelican Livery and Bait Stables in 
Cripplegate. Old Tommy was on the eve of his perihodical bankruptcy, 
and jest afore shuttin' up, Septimus arrived flourishin' his cambric, 
with his white jeans strapped under his chammy leather opera boots, 
and a tartan Joinville across his neck, Old Tom eyed him as he 
swaggered down the ride, and having exchanged nods, Septimus 
began axin' Tommy if he had anything in his line, jest as though he 
bought an 'oss every other day. Tommy paused and considered, 
runnin' his mind's eye, as it were, through the seven stalls, and the 
ten stalls, and the fifteen stalls, and all the loose boxes, and then as 
usual he called for Joe. Joe was the pictur of a dealer's man ; red 
nose, blear eyes, long body, short legs — and master and man were one. 
After a little side talk, in the course of which Tommy heard with 
regret that the brown was at Greenwich, and the roan at Dulwich, 
and the white at Blackheath, and half a dozen others of Green's cut 
away on trial, Tommy exclaimed with a hair of sudden enlighten- 
ment, ' But Joe, there's the cow ! jest slip on the 'alter, and bring 
her hup the ride.' 

" ' Cow ! ' exclaimed Septimus, I wants an 'oss ! ' 

" ' Well, but see her out at all ewents,' replied Tommy in the sweet- 
est manner possible, 4 lookin' costs nothin', added he. 

" * But I doesn't vont a cow ! ' roared Septimus, burstin' with rage. 

" Jest then the street gates closed, and hup came Joe, runnin' the 
cow as he would an 'oss, old Tommy praising her haction, and the 
way she lifted her leg, swearin' she never would come down, takin' 
no notice of Green stormin' and swearin' he didn't want a cow, he 
wouldn't take a cow in a gift ; and I really believe if I hadn't been 
there, old Tommy would have talked him into it — for he certain &s 
had the most buttery tongue that ever was hung — and the gates were 
locked into the bargain. 

" But let us narrow the field of 'oss speckilation, and view our 
buyer on the road to a dealer's in search of an 'unter. No man 
mould go there in black silk stockins ; dress trousers are also out of 
character. And here I may observe that there be two sorts of fox- 
'unters — the quiet fox-'unter wot goes out werry swell, but comes 
home and resumes the appearance of a gemmam, and the Tom-and- 
Jerry fox'unter what goes out now and then, to smoke cigars, pick 
up a steeple-chaser, wear groomish clothes, and be able to talk of the 
'ounds. The latter are not the men for the dealer's money. They 
turn the stables over from end to end, worm out the secrets, and 
keep a register of the fluctuations in price of each 'oss. Some act as 
middle-men between the buyer and seller, gettin' wot they can out of 
each for their trouble. ' I can buy him cheaper than you/ they say, 
and so they benefit the buyer by pocketin' the difference. These are 



OR, MR. JORROCKS'S HUNT. 141 

the bouys to bother a dealer's vig ! A vink from them stops many a 
bargain, while an approvin' nod from such distinguished judges 
drives ingenuous youth into extempore bargains that they would 
otherwise bring half their acquaintance to inspect. 

" When three men enter a yard, a dealer seldom opens out. Two 
are plenty for business — if the buyer is pea-green, he had better get 
some riper friend to play first fiddle, and he must be spectator. If he 
has a button at his 'at and 'olds his tongue, he may pass for a quiet 
fox-'unter, and so command respect. There's ' masonry ' in fox-'unt- 
ing, and a loop in at the linin', or a button behind, will do more 
than all the swagger and bluster in the world. 

" It is an inwariable rule with the dealers to praise the bad points 
and let the good 'uns speak for themselves. It is a waste of time 
observin' that an 'oss is large in the 'ead or light in the carcase, 'cause 
a contradiction is sure to follow. It is equally useless axin' the age 
of a dealer's 'oss, because they are all ' six h'off.' If you object to 
shape, make, or colour, they will tell you it's all fancy ! That some 
folks like a happle, others a honion, and Lord So-and-so would give 
any price for sich an 'oss. As to hargufying with a dealer, that's 
quite out of the question, because he has his cut and dried answers 
to every obserwation you can make, and two or three grums to swear 
to what he says. Keep, therefore, in mind what Gambado said about 
being done, keep also in view the sort of nag you want, and don't be 
talked into buyin' a cow, and when an 'oss of your figure makes his 
appearance, look him full in the face, as though you were used to such 
interviews. If you have read about sand-cracks, and sallenders, and 
sit-fasts, and thorough-pins, and quittors, and locked jaws, and curbs, 
you will save yourself the trouble of enquirin' after any of them by 
axin' the dealer if he'll warrant him sound. In course he'll say yes, 
and you may then proceed with your view. The precept ' no fut no 
'oss,' is well to be borne in mind perhaps, as also ' no 'ock no 'unter.' 
Now, 'ark forward ! 

" The dealer, what with his tongue and his whip, will keep you 
and the nag in a state of trepidation. 

" All the good qualities 'oss flesh is heir to will be laid to his 
charge, and there will be nothin' you can ax but what he will be able 
to do — ' Leap ! Lor bless you, Sir, I vish you'd see'd him last Friday 
gone a week with the Queen's staggers at Slough. We was a runnin* 
old Skylark, wot always goes straight, when he planted the field at a 
six foot vail, dashed and coped with broken bottles — Not another 'oss 
looked at it, and Davis declared he never see'd such a lip in his life.' 

" Spooney. — ' Yill he go in 'arness, do you think ? ' 

"Dealer. — * Quietest crittur alive! Jack's eldest bouy here, a lad 
o 1 thirteen, driv him and another to Mile End and back, 'long the 
Strand, through Fleet Street, Cheapside, and all, busiest time o' day, 
and he nouther looked to the right nor the left. Lay your leg over 
him, sir ! ' 

" Now this latter is an inwitation for the gen'leman to mount, and 



142 EANDLEY CROSS; 

if so be ho of the button has never been much used to ride, he had 
better lee his friend use his leg, or should neither be werry expert, let 
the dealer's man throw his over. Some 'osses don't like strangers, 
and no thin' looks so foolish as a man floored in a dealer's yard. Still 
mountin' is the first step in practical 'ossmanship, and it don't need 
no conjurer to know that unless a man mount he can have no ride. 
Should our friend think well of the nag's looks, perhaps he cannot 
begin his acquaintance too soon. If he sees no wite of the eye or 
symptoms of wice, no coaxin' or whoomn', or shoulderin' to get him 
to stand, let him march boldly up and mount, like William the 
Conqueror. 'Osses are queer critturs, and know when we are 
frightened of them just as well as we do ourselves. Born to be con- 
trolled, they stoop to the forward and the bold ! 

" If Green 'orn gets fairly up, the chances are he likes his mount. 
It is pleasant to find one's self carried instead of kicked off, and some 
'osses never ride so well as on trial. Out then Spooney goes, and 
tries all his paces ; a self-satisfied smile plays on his mug, as rein on 
neck he returns down the covered ride, and the dealer, with a hair of 
indifference, axes, i 'Ow he likes him ? ' 

" Spooney. — ' Why pretty well — but I think he ray-ther pulls — I 
fear he'll be windicitive with 'ounds.' 

" Dealer. — * Pulls ! Vy, if you pulls at him, in all humane 
probability he'll pull at you — otherwise you might ride him with a 
thread,' addin' aside, * I sells 'osses not 'and3. Finest mouth'd nag 
I ever was on I ' 

" Spooney. — ' Well, but you'll take a lee-Wo, less than what you ax ? * 

" Dealer. — ' Couldn't take a fardin' less ! — gave within three sovs. 
of that myself, and brought him all the vay from 'Orncastle — Squire 
Smith will take him if you don't — indeed, here comes his grum.' 

" Here the dealer's liveried and booted servant appears. 

" The bargain is then closed — the money paid, a warranty included 
in the stamped receipt, and Spooney's first ride is to Field's, or the 
Weterinary College, to have him examined. One pound one is thus 
added to his price. 

" Thus, my beloved 'carers/' concluded Mr. Jorrocks, " have I 
conducted you through the all-perilous journey of your first deal, 
showin' how warious and conflictin' are the opinions relative to 
'osses, and how, as in many cases, wot is one man's meat is anither 
man's puzzon. Far be it from me to say, that you will be much 
wizer from anything you have heard, for the old stager will find 
nothin' but what he knew before, while all that can be taught the 
beginner is not to be too sanguinary in his expectations. 

" * Turn about is fair play,' as the devil said to the smoke-jack, 
and it is only right that those wot have inwested capital in the pur- 
chase of experience, should be allowed to get a little back. By-and- 
by it will be Green'orn's turn, and then little Spooney, who now 
goes sneakin' up the yard, will swagger boldly in, commandin' the 
respect and attention of the world. 



OR, MR. JORROCKS'S HUNT. 143 

" "We must all creep afore we can walk, and all be bitten afore we 
can bite. But let not ingenuous youth despair ! If his 'oss is not so 
good as he might be, let him cherish the reflection that he might 
have been far worse ! Let him apply that moral precept so beauti- 
fully inculcated towards his better 'alf : — 

" ' Be to his faults a little blind, 
Be to his wirtues ever kind.' 

" So shall little Spooney jog on rejoinin' ! Each succeedin* year 
shall find him better mounted, and at each fresh deal he will become 
a wiser, and, I 'opes, an 'appier man." 

Mr. Jorrocks concluded amidst loud and universal applause. 

A loud call being then made on Eoger Swizzle, that genius at 
length stepped forward, and after a few preparatory hems, declared 
that " of all the lectures he had ever listened to, either at Guy's, 
Bartholomew's, or elsewhere, he had never heard one so replete with 
eloquence, genius, and genuine information." (Cheers.) " Hunting, 
and Handley Cross waters " (the original Spa ! some one cried out), 
" the original Spa, of course," repeated Roger, " would cure every 
complaint under the sun, and if he hadn't such a wash-ball seat, he 
declared he'd turn sportsman himself. Before they dispersed, how- 
ever, let them pay a tribute of respect to the gentleman to whom 
they were indebted for such a great sporting luminary — he proposed 
three cheers for Captain Doleful." 

Captain Doleful returned thanks, and proposed three cheers for 
Roger Swizzle, after which the majority of the male portion of the 
meeting resolved themselves into a brandy-and-water committee 
(Jorrocks in the chair), which sat very late, and resulted in our 
friend being left to pay the greater share of the shot. 



CHAPTER XVII. 

HUNTSMAN WANTED — JAMES PIGG. 

WANTED IMMEDIATELY, for the HANDLEY CROSS FOX- 

* ' HOUNDS, a strong, active, bold, enterprising young man, in the above 
capacity. He must be desperately fond of hunting, and indefatigable in the 
pursuit of it. He must be shrewd, sensible, good-tempered, and sober ; exact, 
civil, and cleanly ; a good horseman and a good groom ; his voice must be strong, 
clear, and musical ; and his eye so quick, as to perceive which of his hounds 
carries the scent when all are running ; and he must have so excellent an ear 
as always to distinguish the foremost hounds when he does not see them. He 
must be quiet, patient, and without an atom of conceit. Address (post paid), 
atating full particulars as to age, size, weight, previous service, &c, to M.P.H. 
John Joeeocks, Diana Lodge, Handley Cross Spa. 

Such was the special advertisement that our friend Mr. Jorrocks, 
with the aid of the editor, drew up for insertion in that gossiping 



144 HANDLEY CROSS; 

publication the " Handley Cross Paul Pry," from whence it was 
copied into the " Post," and the London sporting papers generally, 
producing an immense sensation in the world of servitude. 

People whose establishments are regulated with such regard to 
laziness, that John knows whether it is his business to brush his 
master's hat, or James's, can have little idea how those in middle 
life get served at all, or yet the sort of servants that offer themselves 
for any situation that may be vacant. 

Thus, great Herculean ploughmen will offer themselves as 
postillions, and failing that, will consider themselves equally fit for 
butlers ; while fellows that have never been in a stable, will under- 
take the charge of horses and carriages, and drive if required. 

The above striking advertisement soon caused Diana Lodge to be 
besieged by all the idle, dog-stealing raffs in the country — flash, 
slangey-looking scamps in long waistcoats, greasy livery coats with 
covered buttons, baggy breeches, and square-toed gaiters, buttoning 
in front of the knee. They all spoke in the highest terms of them- 
selves, and though none of them had ever hunted, they all thought 
they'd " like it," and one had actually got so far in a hunting estab- 
lishment, as to have been what he called second pad groom — viz., a 
helper at twelve shillings a-week. The following sample will show 
the general character of the correspondence. 

" Edgebaston. 
"Sir, 

" / am in tvhant of a situation, Seeing your advertsmentin the Life 
papey If a greeable to you it tvhould sute me verrey ivell I have not 
been in survice before I have been A Horse Dealer for my self and ivith 
my Father But I have no doubt that I am compident to take the 
situation for I been used to hunting all my life and have rode in sum 
of the furst Steeple Chases in the country I can refure you to John 
Cock's Esq. Cocks' Hall, near Beccles. I have been yoused to hunt 
with many fine hounds — Stag Hounds, Beagles, and all, and know all 
about them. I am markd but no famley, onley my self and wife. I 
am 28 years of age 10 si&ne wight But as for wage I shall leave for 
you to state if every other thing meets your approbation I have a friend 
that is Butler with Captain Boxer, at Bath, you can right to him if 
you think proper As E knows my self and famely, 

t€ I remain 

Tours 
Obdiaint 
Servant 

'To John Jorrocks, Esq., " THOMAS LOGGAJK. 

« Of the Handley Cross Hunt, 
♦' Handley Cross." 



OB, MB. JOBBOCKS'S HUNT. 145 

" Warminster. 
w Sir, 

" On hearing you want a huntsman, I take the liberty of writing to 
enquire after the place I thoroly understand my business either as groom 
or coachman and have been accustomed with hounds I live at present 
with John Jones Esq. at Warminster as groom and gardner where 1 
leave on Thursday first if you want a servant I shall be glad to serve 
you as I am a married man. 

" Tour obedient servant, 

"To Mr. Jorrocks, Esq. "John Ceakethorpb. 

" Handley Cross." 

"Dear Sir, 

U / take the liberty of writing those Few Lines to you Hereing 
that you are In Want of A Servant And I Am in Want of A Situation 
If you Have No Objections And I have Been in the Racing Stables 
Seven Years And My Age is 23 And Stands About 65 foot 6 J And 
My Wages Will be 30£ A Year And If you thought I Should Suit 
You Direct to Mark Spraggon, North-fleet And for My Caracter 
Inquire of Major Bams of Horlon Hall Near York And My Weight 
is A bout 9 stone. I am disengaged in the woman ivay. 

" Your humble Servant, 

" To J. Jorrocks. Esq., " MARK PUNCHEON. 

" Fox Hunter, Handley Cross." 

" Sir, 

" / saw in your advertisement wanted, a single young man as 
huntsman with a tow days a-week pack of hounds, I should like to 
know ivhat the celery will be, as I think I could fulfill this situation 
very well, my tueighl is 9| stones, Please to write with return of Post 
about the Celery and where the situation is, You ivill much Oblige 

u I remain your humble Servant, 

"John Green. 
"Mr. Jorrocks, M.F.H." 

" Sir, 

14 / write these few lines to inform you that 1 have seen in the Field 
paper that you are in want of a young man as huntsman to your 
hounds and I have sent these few lines to say I am a marred man and 
has a family but I cannot move my Wife for 4 years to come for I have 
8 Boys at trade and they get their meat and lodge at home so if you do 
not get one to suet you I should be happy to wait on you if you think 
that I will suet you I have been with boathfox Hounds and Harriers 
to take care of them in the Kennels and Hunting them in the field and 
I can Groom my own Horses is which I like to take Car of my own 



146 MANDLEt CitOSS ; 

Horses allivays as for my Age is 52 years and my Weight is 9 stone 
and has been 5 years in my last sittuation out I do not ivish to give 
you the trouble to write bade if you get one to suet you for 1 can be at 
liberty in a Week's Notice, so if you think I will suet you my wages 
is one Pound per Week and meat in the House likewise, and Close to 
hunt in so I remain 

" Your humble Servant, 

" Please to Direct to " John Cox. 

" Mr. John Cox, {Huntsman) Epsom." 

"To Mr. John Jorrocks, 
" Master of Hounds, Handley Cross." 

Finding the applications by letter becoming numerous, Mr. 
Jorrocks soon discontinued answering those which he did not think 
held out any prospect of suiting, but the following from the well- 
known Dick Bragg roused his bile into the answer that succeeds : — 

"Dear Sir, 

" Seeing that you are in wants of an energetic gent to hunt your 
hounds, I beg to represent my qualifications for the appointment. Pve 
held office Sir in some first rate administrations, yes Sir, in some first 
rate administrations Sir ; my Lord Reynards Sir of Turkeypont Park 
Sir, the Duke of Downeybird of Downeybird Castle Sir, but my precious 
health not being quite adequate to the mental exertion and bodily fatigue 
consequent on a four or five days a iveek establishment, I have deter- 
mined to sink the dignities of life a little in favor of Peace and quietness 
and should have no objection to negotiate an alliance ivith you for the 
management of your hounds and country. 

" One thing I should stipulate at starting, namely, that if we do not 
agree, you ivill have the kindness not mention this application as it 
would cause me to lose caste in the rank of life in ivhich I have hereto- 
fore moved. 

" That, I feel assured from your high merchanlile reputation I may 
rely upon — Yes Sir, I feel assured from your high merchantile reputation 
I may rely upon — To proceed then — In course you would allow me to 
appoint my own whips, an arrangement that I have always found to be 
most inducive to sport, for none but a huntsman knoivs whether his 
ivhips play properly into his hands or not, and there is nothing like 
having the power to turn them off for making them to do as they ought. 
I don't hold with Beckford that a first whip should be a second hunts- 
man. No Sir, no — I say, a whipper-in can be made, but a huntsman's 
talent must be born with him — / should basely dissemble if I hesitated 
to declare that in sporting science my abilities shall yield to none. 1 
will hunt a fox with any man — with the great Lord Elcho himself / 

" To descend to particulars however ; perhaps you'll allow me to aslt 



Oli, MB. JOBBOCKS'S HUNT. 14? 

whai your salary is — also what the draft hounds may be worth yearly 
per annum, and what you think the vails will come to — Also if 1 shall 
be allowed a boy to brush my clothes and clean my boots, as I shouldn't 
like to have any dirty work to do — A line to the Corner will find me. 
and hoping to establish a mutually advantageous connection, I beg to 
subscribe myself 

" Yours obediently, 

" Eichard Bragg. 
" P.S. — ' Quick ' should be the word, as such a chance doesrtt offer 
every day. 

" To — Jorrockes, Esq., M.F.H., 
"&c. &c. &c. 
"Handley Cross." 

Jorrocks was desperately angry when he got this. He grinned 
with rage when he read it, to think that any one should think he was 
such a fool as to be taken in by it. At first he was for writing Dick 
a stiff " M.F.H. John Jorrocks presents his compliments " note, but 
thinking that would not be sufficient relief to his mind, he turned his 
attention to an abusive letter calling Dick all sorts of conceited cock- 
tail humbugs, which he sprawled over a sheet of foolscap with his 
great round school-boy hand, when it occurred to him that the banter 
tack would be more telling and mortifying, so after a good deal of 
consideration he concocted the following : — 

" Sir, 

" / am werry much obliged by your purlite communication, and 
much regret that it did not come a little sooner, as I thinks you seem 
jest the sort of man — / beg pardon — gentleman I ivant. — / doesn't care 
a dump about money further nor as it enables one to pursue the 
pleasures 6 > the chace, and if you'd shown us the first chop sport yoh 
propose, Vd he given you sich a kick at Christmas as would have sen* 
you right hup into the first class carriage of service, and I makes nc 
doubt my example would have been followed by all the generously 
disposed cocks of my \mt. Unfortunately the appointment is filled up, 
though perhaps 100Z. a-year, and perquisites by fair means or foul — 
ivhich in course I winks at, to the tune of 501. more — might not have 
been toorth your consideration, though Christmas presents would make 
the salary up good 200/. a-year. I does all the dirty work myself, ana 
you might have worn wite kids on non-unting days. 

" Tours to serve, 

"John Jorrocks. 

" To Mr. Richard Braig, " Grocer, Tea dealer, and M.F.I 

" Messrs. Tattersall's, 
"Hyde Park Corner, London." 



148 HANDLEY CM0S8; 

" Here's a cove vants you," said Benjamin, as he brought in a 
candle to seal the foregoing. 

" Vants me," repeated Mr. Jorrocks, " who can it be ? " 

Benjamin. — " Don't know — von't tell me — says his name's Pigg 
— comes from the north — Scotland, I should think by his 
tongue." 

Mr. Jorrocks. — " Pigg — humph — Scotland — humph — Shouldn't 
wonder if he's one of these place-'unting coves — the town's full of 
them." — Never saw an advertisement work so. — " There," continued 
he, as he finished sealing the letter, " take that to the Post, and 
mind you don't pick the 'ead off ; and here, Binjimin," continued 
Jorrocks, " send the Pigg in I " 

" Yez-ur," said Benjamin, taking his departure. 

Scarcely had Mr. Jorrocks composed himself in his red moroccc 
audience chair, ere a sledge-hammer sort of blow at the door an- 
nounced the approach of the stranger. 

Come in ! roared the M.F.H. in a corresponding tone, and the order 
being obeyed, our friend had a view of his caller. 

He was a tall, spindle-shanked man, inclining to bald, with flow- 
ing grey-streaken locks shading a sharp-featured, weather-beaten 
face, lit up with bright hazel eyes. A drop hung at his nose, and 
tobacco juice simmered down the deeply indented furrows of his 
chin. His dress was a strange mixture of smart-coloured, mis- 
fitting clothes. A blue and white cotton kerchief was twisted care- 
lessly round his scraggy neck — a green-baize jacket, with the back 
buttons almost between his shoulders, flattened upon a pair of baggy 
iirty-white cords, between which, and a little red waistcoat, a vast 
protuberance of soiled linen appeared. His shrunk drab mother-of- 
pearl buttoned gaiters, dragged upon an ill-shaped leg, making his 
stooping, lathy figure more ungainly, and the scantiness of his upper 
garments more apparent. His hands, encased in shiny yellow ochre- 
coloured gloves, were thrust a long way through the little jacket 
sleeves,, between which and the gloves, coarse dirty wrist-bands 
appeared — one hand clutched a boy's turned-up hat, and the other 
rested on a rugged oak staff. 

"Humph!" grunted Mr. Jorrocks, as he eyed him, observing aloud 
to himself, " Vot a long-legged beggar it is," inwardly resolving he 
wouldn't do. 

" Your sarvant, Sir," said the figure, shuffling the little hat into 
the staff hand, while he raised the other to his forehead, and kicked 
out behind. " Heard tell ye was in wants of a hontsman." 

"Humph," grunted Mr. Jorrocks again, "you don't look much likv 
one. Vere d'ye come from ? " 

" Gannynewcassel," replied Pigg. " A, ar's frae Harwich last," 
added he, " but ar's a native of Paradise, aside Cannynewcassel — ye'll 
ken Cannynewcassel nae doubt," observed he, running the words 
together. 



OR, MR. JORROCKS'S HUNT. 



145> 



" Oarn't say as 'uw I do," replied Mr. Jorrocks thoughtfully, still 
eyeing the bird of Paradise. " Is it any way near Dundee ? " 

" Dundee ! no — what should put that i 1 your head ? " snapped 

Pi'go\ 

" Wot should put that i' my 'ead ! " retorted Mr. Jorrrcks, boiling 
up. " Vy, it must be near somewhere ! " 

" Near somewhere ! " now exclaimed Pigg, indignant at the slight 




"candied newcassel." 



thus put on his famous city. "Why, it's a great town of itsel'— ye 
surely ken Newcassel where arle the coals come frae ? " 

" You said Candied Newcassel," enunciated Mr. Jorrocks, slowly 
and emphatically — "you said Candied Newcassel," repeated he, "from 
which I natterally concluded it w r as near Dundee, where they make 
the candied confectionary. I get my marmeylad from there. I'm 
not such a hignorant hass," continued he, " as not to know where 
Newcastle is. I've been i' Scotland myself ! Durham at least." 

N 



150 BAN DIE Y CROSS; 

They then took a good long stare at each other, each thinking the 
other a " rum un." 

Jorrocks gave tongue first. " Wot 'ounds have you been with ? * 
asked he. 

" A, a vast," replied Pigg, " yen way and another." 

11 Yen way and another," muttered Mr. Jorrocks, etill eyeing him 
intently. 

"Aye, ar' ken all the hounds amaist. Tyndale, and D'orm, and 
Horworth, and arl." 

" Ah, but those 'ill be Scotch dogs," observed Mr. Jorrocks, " a 
country I knows nothin' whatever on — have you been in any civilized 
country ? " 

" Aye, civil, aye, they're all civil enough — 'gin ye're civil to them. 
If ye set up your gob, they'll mump it, ar's warn'd." 

" No — no — that's not wot I mean," retorted Mr. Jorrocks, getting 
angry and shuffling about in his seat. " I want's to know if you've 
ever been in any of the crack countries ? " 

"Cracked countries," repeated Pigg thoughtfully, scratching his 
head — " cracked countries, aye — yeas — Warlesend." 

" No ! no ! " growled Mr. Jorrocks, kicking out his legs, " any of 
the cut 'em down and 'ang 'em up to dry countries ? " asked "our 
master, thinking to exterminate Pigg and be done. 

" Why — no — ar' hannut," drawled Pigg, twiddling his hat 
about. 

" Ah then, you'll not do for me," replied our friend, with a super- 
cilious chuck of the chin. 

"Why, why, sir," replied Pigg, "ye ken best." 

" Ye ken best," repeated Mr. Jorrocks, aloud to himself, adding 
" what a rum beggar it is to be sure." 

They then kept eyeing each other again for a while. 

" Cora-founded nuisance," muttered Mr. Jorrocks to himself, " not 
being able to get an'untsman," recollecting the boiled lobster, Plaster 
of Paris Poll Parrot merchant, and other scenes. " CWfounded 
nuisance indeed." Then he thought he'd sound Pigg again. 

"Do you thviJc now," continued he, speaking very slowly, and 
looking very intently at the applicant, — " do you think now you're 
ekle to my place ? first-rate establishment, splendid pack of 'ounds, 
inwaluable 'osses, swell country, critical field." 

"Why, now, it's not for me to say," replied Pigg, turning his quid, 
" but ar's fond o' hunds, and ar'd de my best te please ye." 

"Well," thought Mr. Jorrocks, "that's summut at all events, let 
me be master, which is agreeable. Wouldn't ha' been so with 
Mr. Bragg I guess. You can ride I s'pose ? " observed he, address- 
ing the applicant in a more conciliatory tone. 

Pigg. — " Ride ! aye, ar wish ar'd nout else te de." 

Mr. Jorrcclcs. — " And clean an 'oss ? " 

Pigg. — " Aye, ne doubt, — grum him, that's to say." 



OB, MB. JOBBOCKS'S HUNT. 161 

" You'll be ivcrry keen, I s'pose ? " said Mr. Jorrocks, brightening 
as he went. 

" Ar's varra hungry, if that's what ye mean," replied Pigg, aftei a 
moment's consideration. 

" No," said Mr. Jorrocks, " I means, you'll be desperation fond of 
'unting." 

" Fond o' huntin' ! Oh faith is I — there's nout like huntin." 

" Dash my vig ! so say I," exclaimed Mr. Jorrocks, still brighten- 
ing up, " so say I ! it's the real Daffy's Elixir ! The Cordial Balm 
o' Gilead ! The concentrated Essence o' Joy ! — Vot weight are you? 
you're long in the leg," continued Mr. Jorrocks, surveying him from 
head to foot. 

" Ar's lang, but ar's leet," replied Pigg, looking down at his 
spindle shanks, " ar's sure ar dinna ken what ar weighs — may be 
elivin stun." 

"In course you're a bachelor ? " observed Mr. Jorrocks. 

" Oh quite," replied Pigg, " ar never fashes the women folk." 

Mr. Jorrocks. — " Vot's your pedigree ? 'ow are you bred in fact ? " 

Pigg. — " A — why — sink " — hesitated the speaker, twisting the hat 
about hurriedly, "ar dinna ken nout about that. Ar de believe 
though, gin ar had me dues, ar'd be a gen'lman this day — only ye 
see, sir, you see," continued he, " ma fore elder John, ye see John 
Pigg, willed away arle wor brass to the Formory, ye see, and left me 
wi' fairly nout. Gin ye gan to the Newcassel Formory, ye'll see arle 
aboot it, in great good letters, clagged agin the walls. Sink ! but 
he'd better ha gien me it." 

" Humph" grunted Mr. Jorrocks, not catching a quarter of this 
hurried run-together sentence. " Humph" repeated he, looking him 
over attentively, thinking how to get him to speak English. " Wot 
d'ye say your father was ? " at length asked he. 

Pigg. — " Ah, ar dinna ken nout about that ; ar's heard tell ar was 
dropped somewhere i' Canny Newcassel, but ar' niver kenned ne 
body i' the shape o' father or friend but mar coosin Deavilboger — 
you'll hav' heard tell of mar coosin Deavilboger, ne doot." 

" Can't say as 'ow I have," replied Mr. Jorrocks ; "is he a great 
man for the 'unt ? " 

"No, deil a bit," laughed Pigg, "it was just that we fell out about. 
Says Deavilboger to me yen mornin, as I was gannin to Gosforth 
Gates to see the hunds throw off, says he to me says he, * If thou 
doesn't yoke thy cart and gan and lead tormots, thou needn't fash 
thyself to come back here ony more ; ar'll have ne gentlemen sports- 
men 'bout mar farm.' 

" Says ar, to Deavilboger, * Deavilboger,' says ar, ' thou surely 
wadn't grudge a man the matter of a hunt, ar that's always i' the way 
and ready to oblige ; ' but he's a deuce of a man when he's angered 
is mar coosin Deavilboger, and he swore and cussed that if ar went 
ar shouldn't come back — A, a, a y how he did swear and cuss — 

n2 



152 HANDLEY CROSS; 

ar really think he didn't leave a part o' me uncussed — 'cept my teeth 
and nails, so ye see we quarrelled and parted ye see. 

" But he's a good man i' the main, is mar coosin Deavilboger," 
continued Pigg, "only he canna bear the hunds, and as sure as iver 
winter cam round the Deavil an' I were sure to have a dust ; but 
that's all done now and ended, so ar'll always speak well o' the ard 
Deavil, for he was a good frind to me, and gav' me monny an ard suit 
o' claes, and monny a half-crown at the Cow Hill and such like times 
— dare say he gave me this very hat ar hev i' my hand," continued 
Pigg, thrusting out the little chapeau as he spoke. 

" Can you 'unt a pack of 'ounds ? " inquired Mr. Jorrocks, wishing 
to get Pigg on to the old tack. 

" Why now it's not for me to say," replied Pigg, " but ar's used to 
hunds, and ar's fond o' hunds, and have travelled all o'er the world 
amaist — Bliss ye, all the sportin' gentlemen ken me, King o' Hungary 
and all!" 

" Well, you shall eat as your 'ungry," replied Mr. Jorrocks, not 
catching the last sentence, "but I wants to know more about you and 
your pretensions —an 'untsman holds a conspikious place in the 
world's eye, and it be'oves an M.F.H. to be werry 'tickler wot'un & 
one he selects. Tell me now can you holloa ? " 

" Hoop, and holloa, and talli-ho !" exclaimed Pigg, at the top of 
his voice, his eyes sparkling with animation. 

" Gently," exclaimed Mr. Jorrocks, partaking of his enthusiasm, 
" you'll frighten the ladies ; tell me now, wot wage do you want ? " 

" What wage ? A ar dinne ken ! — we'll not differ 'bout the matter 
o' wage — What is ar to de ? " 

" Vy> you'll have to 'unt and feed the 'ounds, clean two 'osses, look 
arter the tackle ; see that all's on the square, in fact." 

"Ar can de all that," replied Pigg, "and break yeer 'ard bones into 
the bargain." 

" Humph ? Werry kind" grunted Mr. Jorrocks. 

" Ar mean 'ard kennel bones," explained Pigg, seeing Mr. Jorrocks 
looked irate. 

" Oh, I twig," replied our master, resuming his smile, " break 'em 
for the farmers — for turnip manure, in fact — We'll go on 'bout the 
wage." 

" Ar'd like to have my vittels i' the house, if you have ne objec- 
tion," resumed Pigg. 

" In the 'ouse," said Mr. Jorrocks, considering, " I doesn't know 
about that — to be sure you are light i' the girth, and don't look like 
a great grubber, but 'unting makes one werry 'ungry." 

" Bless ye, ar eat nout," replied Pigg, rubbing his hand over his 
stomach, to show how flat it was, "and ar'd take a vast less wage gin 
ar were fund in the house." 

Mr. Jorrocks. — " S'pose then, we say eighteen pounds, your meat, 
nd a suit of clothes," 



OiJ, MB. JOIMOCKS'S BUNT. 163 

Pigg. — " Say twenty, and ar'll find myself — ar've a capitaf cap ar 
got in a raffle, and a red coat 'ard Sebright gave me." 

"No, no," replied Mr. Jorrocks, "none of your cast-offs. The 
'Andley Cross 'ounds must be turned out properly." 

u Well, then," replied Pigg, *' you mun hev it your own way ; see 
gi' us my arles." 

" Your wot ? " inquired Mr. Jorrocks. 

Pigg. — " My arles ! we always get arles i' wor country." 

Mr. Jorrocks. — " Wot all your wittles at once ? " 

Pigg. — " No, man — sir, ar mean — summut to bind bargain like." 

Mr. Jorrocks. — " I twig ! See, there's a shiilin' for you. Now go 
and get your dinner — be werry keen, mind." 

Pigg ducked his head as he took the money, and slouched joyfully 
out of the room. 

Jorrocks then threw himself back in his red morocco hunting- chair, 
hoping he might answer, and wishing that he hadn't been rather 
precipitate in the bargain. If Pigg didn't suit, his boots wouldn't fit 
anybody else. Still he looked more promising than any of the others, 
and Jorrocks hoped he was keen. 

" It might ha' been better p'raps," said he, as he took up a leg to 
nurse, and entered upon a study of the ceiling — "it might ha' been 
better if i'd made some inquiries about him — but confound it, wot 
tradesman can tell anything about an 'untsman, and who else could I 
ask ! Anything's better nor Bin. bellowin' ' boiled lobsters ' arter 
one, or the 'ounds runnin' into Plaster o' Paris Poll Parrot merchant's. 
Con-found it," continued Jorrocks, shaking his head, "Mr. Payne and 
Goodhall, and these swells i' the cut-me-downs, do the thing so easy, 
that it makes us fools o' natur think we can do the same, but dash 
my buttons, findin' a fox and killin' on 'im are werry different 
things." Then Jorrocks's run-away imagination carried him right 
into the cut-me-down countries ; to Misterton, to Arthingworth, to 
Bardon Hall with Sir Richard, to Oroxton Park with the Belvoir. 



154 



HANDLEY CROSS; 



CHAPTER XVIII. 

A FRIGHTFUL COLLISION ! BECKFORD V. BEN. — THE CUT-'EM-DOWN 
CAPTAINS. — THE CUT-'EM-DOWN CAPTAIN 'S GROOM. 

S our friend fancied himself 
luxuriating in a run with the 
Cottesmore from the top of 
Kanksborough Hill, he was sud- 
denly disturbed by a loud cry 
of— 

" Murder ! Murder ! Murder ! 
Here, Sir ! Here ! n and Benja- 
min came bursting into the room 
with anger and fear depicted in 
his face, exclaiming, "Please 
Sir ! here, Sir ! that great hugly 
beast's taken the shoulder o' 
mutton onto his plate, and 
swears the taters and gravy are 
good enough for Betsayand me." 
" Taken the shoulder of mut- 
ton onto his plate," repeated 
Mr. Jorrocks in astonishment, 
" impossible, Binjimin ! the man 
told me he had no appetite at 
all." 
" Oh but he has" retorted Benjamin with redoubled energy, " and 

he swears he'll pick his teeth with the bone, and break my 'ead with 

it when he's done — I never see'd such a great hugly beast in all my 

life." 

" Yell, I'll go and see arter this," said Mr. Jorrocks, shaking his 

head, and buttoning up his breeches pockets, as he rose from his chair 

with the air of a man determined to show fight. 

# * # # * * 

" How now ! " roared Jorrocks, bursting into the kitchen, to the 
astonishment of James Pigg, who, knife in hand, was cutting away at 
the shoulder of mutton to the infinite indignation of Betsay, who 
,seemed about to contend tor ner snare of tlie prog. 

" How now ! " repeated Mr. Jorrocks in a still louder voice, which 
had the effect of making Pigg drop the mutton and jump up from 
the table. 

" Didn't you tell me," said Mr. Jorrocks, speaking very slowly at 
the commencement, and boiling up as he went on, " didn't you tell me 
as 'ow that you hadn't no happetite, and yet I finds you seizin' the 




OR, MR. JORROCKS'S HUNT. 155 

meat wot's to serve the kitchen for dinner and the parlour for lunch 
— Yot do you mean by sich haudacity, you great long-legged Scotch 
sinner ! " 

" 'Ord bliss ye," replied Pigg, " ar was nabbut teasin' yon bit 
bowdekite," pointing to Benjamin; "mar appetite may be a bit 
brisker this morn than at most times, for ar had a lang walk, but ar 
wasn't gannin' to eat all the grub ; only that bit bastard wad set up 
his gob, and say ar was to be in onder him, see ar thought ar'd jist let 
him see whether or no at startinV 

" Yell, but," replied Mr. Jorrocks, calmly, but firmly, "fightm" 1 von't 
do : I doesn't grudge you the matter o' the mutton, but there must be 
unanimity and concord, or we shalln't kill no foxes. Binjimin's a 
fine bouy," continued he, looking at him, " and will fulfil the duties 
of his station, by which means alone a man can rise to heminence 
and distinction — hem ! get fat and rich, werry great things, hem ! — 
ive satisfaction, and gain unbounded applause, hem ! — so now jest 
e'ave and settle yourselves quietly to your dinners, and don't let me 
have any more nonsense " — saying which Mr. Jorrocks walked 
deliberately out of the kitchen, and shut the door loudly upon the 
party. But though our worthy friend had thus apparently settled the 
difficulty, he was too good a judge not to see the importance of an 
early understanding between Pigg and Benjamin as to their relative 
situations ; and, as the latter had to be lowered to the advancement 
of the former, Mr. Jorrocks had to summon all his dexterity to 
reduce the one without giving a triumph to the other. Not that Ben 
would have been difficult to replace, or indeed any loss, but Mr. 
Jorrocks did not like losing all the training he had given him, and 
which he still flattered himself would work him into a good and 
cheap servant. Besides, Jorrocks had committed himself to Ben by 
ordering him another pair of top boots in lieu of the brown paper 
ones, and it was hopeless expecting to get another pair of legs that 
they would fit. Mr. Jorrocks knew the boy too well to suppose that 
he would easily brook having any one put over him, and the way of 
doing it occupied our master's thoughts all the afternoon, and 
through his dinner. As the shades of evening were succeeded by 
winter's darkness, and Mr. Jorrocks had emptied his third beaker of 
brandy and water, he stirred his fire, and rang for candles. 

Benjamin speedily appeared, but, instead of allowing the youth to 
depart upon bringing the composites, he ordered him to take a chair 
on the other side of the table, and listen to what he had to say. Mr. 
Jorrocks then arranged the candles so that one threw a light on the boy 
and the other on his book, without their being too near the fire to 
suffer from the heat. Thus prepared, he gave the fire a finishing 
poke, and clearing the voice with a substantial hem ! addressed the 
boy as follows : — 

" Now, Binjimin," said he, " the 'igh road to fame and to fortin' is 
open to you — there is no saying what keenness, combined with saga- 



/56 HANDLEY CBOSS; 

city and cleanliness, may accomplish. You have all the ingredients o? 
a great man about you, and hopportunity only is wantin' to dewelope 
them." 

" Yez-ir," said Benjamin, assenting to the proposition. 

" You must eschew tip-cat, and marbles, and takin' backs from 
bouys i' the streets," continued Mr. Jorrocks, "and turn the main- 
cock o' your mind entirely on to what Mr. Delme Radcliffe well calls 
the Noble Science." 

" Yez-ir," assented Benjamin again. 

Mr. Jorrocks paused, for it was as far as he had arranged matters 
in his mind, and the answer rather put him out. " Now, Binjimin," 
at length resumed he, opening his book apparently at random as he 
spoke, " this book is the werry best book wot ever was written, and is 
worth all other works put together. It is the himmortal Peter 
Beckford's Thoughts upon 'Unting. Thoughts upon 'Unting ! " 
repeated Mr. Jorrocks, casting up his eyes to the ceiling. " My vig, 
wot a title ! Take any page of the book you like, and it's full of 
reason and genuine substantial knowledge. See ! " said Mr. Jorrocks, 
" I've opened it at page 2G8, and how his opinions tally with my 
own. 

" ' Hegerness and impetuhosity,' says he, ' are such essential parts 
of this diwersion, that I am never more surprised than when I see a 
fox-'unter without them.' Charming idea ! "exclaimed Mr. Jorrocks, 
looking up again at the ceiling. " Dash my vig ! how true it is. Whc 
ever heard of a lazy fox-'unter ? A man may be late for everything 
— late to bed, late to breakfast, late to the lord mayor's show — but if 
he's a real out-and-outer, he'll never be late at the kivcr side. Vot, I 
ax, should be done with a man wot is slack ? Wot should be done 
with a man wot is slack, I axes you, Binjimin ? " repeated Mi 
Jorrocks, after pausing for an answer. 

Benjr.tuin was beat for a reply ; but seeing his master's glistening 
optics fixed upon him, he at length drawled out, " Don't know I'm 
sure." 

" Don't know, you beggar ! " responded Mr. Jorrocks, bristling as 
he spoke, " I'll tell you then, you warmint. He should be 'ung — 
choked — tucked up short in fact ! " 

" Yez-ir," said Benjamin, quite agreeable. 

" Now then," continued Mr. Jorrocks, searching in the table of 
contents for the chapter he wanted, " I wants to tell you wot the 
great Mr. Beckford says about the vipper-in, and I begs you'll pay 
'tickler 'tention to it, for every word deserves to be printed i' letters 
o' gold, and then, when you understand the duties o' your hoflice, 
James Pigg and you will go 'and-in-'and together, like the sign of the 
Mutual Assurance hoffice, and we shall have no more wranglin' about 
shoulders o' mutton or who's to have the upper 'and. — 'Unting is 
a thing," continued the M.F.H., "wot admits of no diwersity of 
opinion — no diwision of interests. We must be all on one side likp 




MR. JORROCKS AND HIS WHIPPER=IN. 



OR, MR. JORROCKS'S HUNT. 157 

fche'andle of a tin-pot, or like Bridgenorth election. The master, the 
'ounds, and the servants, are one great unity, radiatin' from a 
common centre, like the threads of a Bedfordshire bobbin pillow — 
hem — and all that sort o' thing — Noav," continued Mr. Jorrocks, 
turning to the book, — " here's the chapter wot I wonts, — No. 9, page 
one hundred and twenty-two, and agOn, let me entreat your 
earnest attention." Mr. Jorrocks then commenced reading as 
follows : — 

"'With regard to the vipper-in, he should be attentive and 
obedient to the 'untsman ;' — attentive and obedient to the 'untsman, 
you hear, Binjimin, that is to say, always on the look-out for orders, 
and ready to obey them — not 'anging back, shulflin', and try in' to 
shirk 'em, but cheerful and willin'; ' and as his 'oss', says the immortal 
author, ' will probably have most to do, the lighter he is the better, 
though if he be a good 'ossman the objection of his weight will be 
sufficiently counterbalanced.' 

" Then mark what he says — 

" ' He must not be conceited.' — That's a beautiful idee," observed 
Mr. Jorrocks, fixing his eyes on the boy, " and one to which I must 
'eartily say ' ditto.' 

" ' He must not be conceited ! ' No, indeed he must not, if he's to 
serve under me, and wishes to 'scape the 'quaintance of my big vip. 
No conceited beggar will ever do for J. J. 'I had one formerly,' " 
continued Mr. Jorrocks, reading on, " ' who, 'stead of stoppin' the 
'ounds as he ought, would try to kill a fox by himself. — This fault is 
unpardonable.' 

" Dash my vigif it isn't," exclaimed Mr. Jorrocks, "a nasty, dirty, 
shabby, selfish trick into the bargain. — 'Ow I would trounce a chap 
wot I caught at that game — I'd teach him to kill foxes by himself. 
But 'ark to me again, Binjimin. 

" ' He should always maintain to the 'untsman's halloa, and stop 
such 'ounds as diwide from it.' 

" That's excellent sense and plain English," observed Mr. Jorrocks, 
looking at the boy. " * He should always maintain to the 'untsman's 
holloa.' Do ye 'ear, Binjimin ? " 

" Yez-ir," replied the boy. 

" ' When stopped, he should get forrard with them, arter the 'unts- 
man.' 

" Good sense again," observed Mr. Jorrocks. 

" ' He must always be content to hact a hunder part.' 

"Mark those words, Binjimin, and let them oe engraved on your 
mind's memory. 

" ' He must always be content to hact a hunder part. ' " 

Mr. Jorrocks then omitted the qualifying sentence that follows, and 
proceeded in his reading. 

" * You have heard me say, that when there is much riot, I prefer 
an excellent vipper-in to an excellent 'untsman. The opinion, 



158 HANDLE Y CBOSS; 

I believe, is new ; I must therefore endeavour to explain it. My 
nieanin' is this — that I think I should have better sport, and kill 
more foxes with a moderate 'untsinan, and an excellent vipper-in, 
than with the best of 'untsnien without such an assistant. You 
will say, perhaps, that a good 'untsman will make a good vipper- in, 
not such, however, as I mean ; — his talent must be born with him.' 

" ' His talent must be born with him,' " repeated Mr. Jorrocks, 
" that is to say, he must have the bump of Fox-un-ta-tiveness werry 
strongly deweloped ; " — adding to himself, " wonder if that beggar, 
Binjimin, has it." He then resumed his reading. 

" ' My reasons are, that good 'ounds (bad I would not keep),' — Nor 
I, nouther," — observed Mr. Jorrocks, — " ' oftener need the one than 
the other ; and genius, which in a vipper-in, if attended by obedience, 
his first requisite, can do no 'urt : in an 'untsman, is a dangerous, 
though a desirable quality ; and if not accompanied with a large share 
of prudence, and I may say, 'umility, will oftentimes spoil your sport 
and 'urt your 'ounds. A gen'lman told me that he heard the famous 
Will Dean, when his 'ounds were runnin"ardin a line with Daventry, 
from whence they were at that time many miles distant, swear ex- 
ceedingly at the vipper-in.' 

" A werry improper proceedin' on his part," observed Mr. Jorrocks, 
without looking oil" the book. 

" ' Sayin', icot business have you 'ere ? — the man was 'mazed at the 
question — why don't you know,' said Dean, ' and be bad ivorded to you. 
that Vie great earth at Daventry is open ? The man got forward and 
reached the earth jest time enough to see the fox go in.' 

" 'Ow provokin'," observed Mr. Jorrocks, " absolutely distressin' — 
enough to make a Harchbishop swear. Don't know that I ever read 
any thing more 'eart-rendin'. The 'ounds most likely been racin' 
and tearin' for blood, and then done out on't. Dash my vig if it 
hadn't been a main earth, I'd ha 1 dug him ! " continued he, thinking 
the case over. 

Presently, a loud snore interrupted our friend, and looking up, 
Mr. Jorrocks discovered Benjamin sound asleep, with his head 
hanging over his left shoulder. Shutting the book in disgust, 
Jorrocks took a deliberate aim at his whipper-in's head, and dis- 
charged the volume with such precision, that he knocked the back 
off the book. 

Benjamin then ran roaring out of the room, vowing that Jorrocke 
had fractured his skull, and that he would " take the law of him " 
for it. 

Having now got a huntsman, and arranged with Duncan Nevin 
for mounting him until he fell in with screws of his own, Mr. 
Jorrocks felt if he had business matters arranged in the City, he 
would be all ready for a start ; " business first, and pleasure arter- 
wards," having always been one of his prudential mottoes. Accord- 
ingly he slipped down by express-train to the Loopline sta^'on, on 



OB, MB. JOBBOCKS'S HUNT. 



159 



the Lily white and Gravelcoin lines, to meet his traveller (representa- 
tive as he calls himself) Bugginson, to wet samples, and hear how 
things were looking in the Lane — and the up- train not fitting 
cleverly, Mr. Jorrocks repaired to the Imperial Hotel, where, being 
as an M.F.H., " rayther above the commercials," he turned into the 




OLD BOYS MADE A JIJSTAKE. 



sumptuously furnished coffee-room. There he found a couple of 
regular cut-'em-down swells, viz., Captain Arthur Crasher of the 
Horselydown Hussars, and Captain Blucher Brusher, of the Leather- 
head Lancers, carousing after a week's career with Sir Peregrine 
Cropper's hounds. 

Having exchanged their wet hunting things for dry tweeds, and 
got the week's thorns out of their legs, they had dined and drowned 



ItfO 11ANDLEY CROSS; 

dull care in a couple of bottles of undeniable, Moet-corked, goose- 
berry champagne, and were now picking their teeth, twiddling theii 
luxuriant moustaches, and stroking their stomachs with the utmost 
complacency. Mr. Jorrocks's entry rather disturbed them. 

" Old boy's made a mistake," whispered the hussar, raising his eye- 
brows as our creaking-booted friend deposited his reversible coat and 
writing-case on the side-board — the captain adding aloud, " what 
shall we have to dwink ? " 

" Do us no harm, I des-say," replied Brusher, staring intently at 
Jorrocks, adding, " 'spose we say clart ? " 

" Clart be it," rejoined Crasher, ringing the bell, and presently 
they had a jug of tolerable St. Jullien, doing duty for Chateau 
Margaux. The glasses being large, and the measure thick and 
highly cut, the men of war were not long in discussing its contents, 
and a second bottle, with an anchovy toast, presently followed. 

The captains then began to talk. They were the crack men of 
their respective regiments, then quartered at Furloughton, each with 
an admiring knot of his own, and each with the most sovereign con- 
tempt of the other's prowess. To hear them talk each other over 
after mess was peculiarly edifying. " Well, what the deuce anybody 
sees in that Crasher's equitation, I can't for the life of me imagine ! " 
Brusher would exclaim, amongst his own set, " Rider ! I really think 
he's the very worst rider I ever set eyes on ! " Then the hussar 
would express his opinion of Brusher. " Poor Brusher, poor devil ! " 
Crasher would say, "he is without exception the greatest humbug 
that ever got on a horse — greatest tailor I ever saw in my life." 
And so the gallant men turned out each morning full of envy, hatred, 
and malice, with the fixed determination of cutting each other down, 
regardless alike of hounds, master, and field. Hark to their con- 
versation ! 

" Well I think I never had a better week's work," observed Crasher, 
throwing himself back in his chair, and eyeing Jorrocks, to see what 
effect the announcement would have upon him. " Had sixteen falls 
in five days." 

" Sixteen have you ? " exclaimed Brusher, doubtingly ; " I didn't 
think you'd had so many. I've had fifteen." 

" No, surely ! " replied Crasher, incredulously. 

" Yes I have," asserted Brusher, confidently — " three on Monday, 
two on Toosday, four on Thursday, three yesterday, and three to-day." 

" Three to-day ! " reiterated Crasher. 

" Yes, three," repeated Brusher. 

li Ah, but that's reckening the mill reservoir," observed Crasher. 

"Well, surely one's entitled to reckon the reservoir — was deuced 
near drowned." 

" Well, but I was in the reservoir too," observed Crasher, " so thai 
makes me seventeen." 

" But mark ! I was in first I " rejoined Brusher, energetically. 



07?, MR. JORROCKS'S HUNT. 161 

"Ah, but you didn't take the still' post and rail with the yawner 
out of Cricklewood-spiny though," exclaimed Crasher. 

" 'Cause I wasn't there, my dear fellow ! " replied Brusher ; 
"neither did you take the brook at A\ r aterfield Glen, or the still' stake 
and rice-bund on the top of Cranfordhcel Hill." 

" Oh ! didn't I, my dear feller ! that's all you know," sneered 
Crasher. " I took it just after Tom Stot's horse all but came back 
over at it. Help yourself, and let's dwink fox-hunting," continued 
he, filling a bumper and passing the claret-jug to his friend, or his 
foe, whichever he considered him. 

" Ah, fox-'untin' indeed," grunted old Jorrocks from behind his 
Times newspaper — " glad you don't 'unt with me — should 'ave to 
insure all my 'ounds' lives and my own too, I should think." 

The captains having done honour to the sport that accommodated 
them with so much jumping, then commenced a more elaborate cal- 
culation on their fingers of the number of falls they had each had, in 
the midst of which they were interrupted by the rushing of a dark- 
green corduroy-clad porter into the room, exclaiming, pro bono 
publico, " Please gents ! the 'bus for the height-fifteen train 'ill be 
ere in ten minnits ! " then addressing Captain Crasher, in a lower 
tone, he said, " Pleaz zur, your grum wishes to know if you 'ave any 
horders for 'im afore you goes ? " 

u Of c-o-o-o-r-s-e, I have," drawled the captain, pompously nap- 
kining his moustache with the greatest coolness, adding — "send him 
here." 

The porter withdrew, and presently a stiffly-built, blue-coated, 
stripe-vested, drab-gaitered groom entered, and with a snatch of his 
fore-lock, placed himself under the gas-lit chandelier. 

The following laconic dialogue then ensued between the captain 
and him, the captain hardly deigning to look at the man, and 
treating him quite on the word of command principle : — 

Captain. — " Hunt Toosday — Hardriding Hill." 

Ch'oom (with another snatch at the fore-lock). — "Yes, sir." 

Captain. — " Talavera first — Barrosa second." 

Groom (as before). — " Yes, sir." 

Captain. — " Or say Barrosa first — Corunna second." 

Groom. — "Yes, sir." 

Captain. — " Wednesday, Lubberfield Park, Salamanca first — Tala- 
vera second." 

Groom. — "Yes, sir." 

Captain. — " Thursday, Riddlerough, Toulouse first — Badajoz 
second." 

Groom. — "Yes, sir." 

Captain. — " Must send on to the Bull at Lushinger." 

Groom, lowly and timidly. — " Please, sir, I shall 'ave to trouble 
*ou for some money, sir." 

" D n and b 1 I " roared the captain, boiling up furiously, 



162 HANDLEY CROSS; 

u didn't I tell you you were only to ask me for money onoe a 
month?" 

Groom, looking confused — " "Well, sir, — but if you don't give me 
enough to last, sir, what ham I to do, sir ? " 

" Do ! " roared the captain, knitting his brows, and eyeing the man 
as if he would exterminate him. "Do! Do as you did before — go 
to Mr. Castors," so saying the captain rose from his scat, and dashing 
his napkin on the floor, bundled the man neck and croup out of the 
room. 

The other captain quickly followed, peeping over the Times as he 
passed to see whether Jorrocks was laughing, and hurried up stairs, 
taking three steps at a stride. 

Presently the twang of a horn, the rumbling of wheels, with the 
bumping of portmanteaus on the stairs and in the passage, announced 
the coining of the 'bus, and then the sound of hurrying footsteps was 
followed by " r-e-e-it ! " and the bang of a door outside, when the 
renewed thunder of wheels announced that the cut-'cm-down captains 
were gone. 

" Got a rammish customer there, I guess," observed Mr. Jorrocks, 
as the groom now re-entered the room to pick up the wa'/s and 
strays. 

" Hev that," replied the groom, grinning, and pocketing a pair of 
dog-skin gloves and a cigar-case his master had left on the mantel- 
piece. The groom then made a dash at the nearly emptied claret 

jug- 

" Ah, that 'ill do ye no good, my frind," observed Mr. Jorrocks •, 
" that 'ill do ye no good. See," continued he, " 'crc's a shillin' for 
ye — get yourself a glass o' summut warm and comfortable — that 'ill 
werry likely give you the cholera." 

" Thank 'e, sir," replied the man, taking and pocketing the 
money. 

"Are you a stoppin* 'ere?" asked Mr. Jorrocks, who had now 
arranged himself with a coat-lap over each arm before the fire. 

"/ham," replied the man, with a knowing leer, adding— " causf 
why ? — / can't get away" 

" 'Deed," smiled Mr. Jorrocks. 

"Wot, you're i' Short's Gardens, are ye ? "' whispered he. 

" Just so," nodded the man. " Hup the spout," jerking upward 
with his thumb. 

*' I thought he looked like a fast 'un," rejoined Mr. Jorrocks. 

" They'll be 'avin' 'im fast afore long, I'm a thinkin'," observed 
the groom. " Mr. Castor 'ere has wot he calls a lion on his 'osses for 
I don't know 'ow much." 

" Wot you're standin' 'ere are ye ? " asked Mr. Jorrocks. 

" Yes, and 'ave been these six weeks, at sixpence a quartern for 
whoats and all other things in like proportion." 

" />i-deed ! " ejaculated Mr. Jorrocks, thinking he wouldn't like to 



OR, MB. JOBEOCKS'8 HUNT. 163 

keep horses on those terms. " Well," continued he, thinking' it 
might lead to something, " 'ave ye anght good for anything ? " 

" They're not bud 'osses, none on them," replied the groom ; " all 
past mark o' mouth and all done work, but they can go." 

" Can they ? " said Mr. Jorrocks, wondering if they would carry 

" I assure you they can," responded the groom confidently. 

" Carry weight ? " asked Mr. Jorrocks in an off-hand sort of way. 

" Why, I doesn't know that they'd carry yon" smiled the man, 
eyeing our friend's substantial form ; " but they'd carry anything i' 
moderation." 

" Oh, it's not for myself/' retorted Mr. Jorrocks, with a frown and 
a toss of the head ; " I'm a commercial gent, an £ s. d. man, not one 
o' your cut-across country chaps ; only, if I could pick up a thing 
cheap that would ride and go in 'arness 'casionally, I wouldn't mind 
a trifle. But I'm not a figurante — not a three figur' man at all," 
added he, — " far from it — keeps no cats wot don't catch mice." 

" Well, either of ours will go in 'arness," replied the groom. 

" Yot ! 'ave you only two ! " exclaimed Mr. Jorrocks, " why the 
man talked as if he 'ad twenty." 

" Only two to call our own — our own habsolute own," explained 
the man — " the rest are jobs — twelve guineas per lunar month, and 
precious 'ard times they 'ave of it, / can tell ye. He does knock 
'em about, I assure you." 

Just then, Castors, the landlord, came to say that Mr. Bugginson 
had arrived, and availing himself of the introduction, Mr. Jorrocks 
sought an opportunity, after he got matters arranged with his 
traveller, for having a little conversation with Castors, beginning on 
indifferent subjects, and drawing gradually up to the Captain, when, 
finding the groom's statement pretty well confirmed, Mr. Jorrocks 
slipped with Castors into the stable to have a look at the nags. 
Amidst the heaps of clothes and straw in which they were enveloped, 
Dur master found pretty good, though abused legs and big hocks, and 
after observing that he'd "seen wuss 'osses," he quietly withdrew 
arm in arm with the landlord. 

" You see," said Jorrocks, in an under tone, " I'm only a trades- 
man — a post-hoffice directory, not a peerage man — and I doesn't 
give extravagant, out o' the way prices for nothin' — least of all for 
'osses, but if it so 'appens as you 'spects that these quads o' the 
captin's come to grief, why I wouldn't mind takin' of them at a low 
moderate figur — twenty, or five-and- twenty pund 'praps — or maybe 
hup to thirty — jest 'eordin' as they looked out o' doors by day-light, 
sooner nor they should be degraded i' the 'buss or get into an old 
ooman's cruelty- wan." 

"Just so, sir," replied Castors, thinking it well to have a customer 
in view. 

" As to their 'untin' qualities," continued Mr. Jorrocks, with a 



164 



HANDLE Y CBOSS ; 



pshaw and a pish, " I doesn't look at 'em at all i' that light. It's no 
commendation to a man wot wants an 'oss for his chay to be hoffered 
one that can jump hover the moon." 

" Certainly not," replied Castors, who sat a horse with firmness, 
ease, and grace, until he began to move, when he generally tumbled 
off. 

" So," continued Jorrocks, " if you find yourself in a fix, you know 
where to send to," our friend diving into his pocket as he spoke, and 
fishing out an enormous steel-clasped, purple-backed, bill-case, from 
whence he selected one of his city cards, " Jorrocks & Co., Grocers 
and Tea Dealers, St. Botolph's Lane," and presented it to 
Castors, who received it with a bow. They then passed by a side- 
door into the bar, where successive beakers of brandy and water 
beguiled the time and caused Mr. Jorrocks to be very late, or rather 
rery early (past three A.M.) in getting back to Handley Cross. 




MR. JORROCKS PUMPING THE CAPTAINS GROOM. 



OR, MB. JORBOCKS'S HUNT. 1M 

CHAPTER XIX. 

BELINDA'S BEAU. 

As Mr. Jorrocks sat at a late breakfast — his wigless aching heat* 
enveloped in a damp towel — the pawing of a horse at the trellised 
archway of Diana Lodge, caused him to look up from his well-spread 
table to reconnoitre the movement. 

" Dash my vig, if here ba'int Stobbs ! " exclaimed he, jumping up 
in ecstacy, and bolting his bottom piece of muffin. 

" Stobbs I " exclaimed Mrs. Jorrocks, rushing to the eagle-topped 
mirror. 

"Stobbs ! " ejaculated Belinda, almost involuntarily, with a blush 
and a smile, and Jorrocks ran foul of Betsy in the passage, as she 
came to announce that " Mr. Stobbs was at the gate." 

Charley Stobbs was just four-and- twenty — handsome, lively, and 
gay, he was welcome wherever he went. In height he was just five 
feet ten, full-limbed, but not coarse, with a cleanness of make and 
shape that bespoke strength and muscular activity. His dark brown 
hair clustered in unstudied locks upon a lofty forehead, while bright 
brown eyes beamed through the long fringes, giving life and anima- 
tion to an open intelligent countenance. 

Charles was the only son of a rich Yorkshire yeoman — of a man 
who, clinging to the style of his ancestors, called himself gentleman 
instead of esquire — Gentlemen they had been styled for many 
generations, and son had succeeded sire without wishing for a change. 

The old lattice-windowed manor-house, substantial and stone- 
roofed, stood amid lofty oaks, upon a gentle eminence above the 
bend of a rapid river — myriads of rooks nestled in the branches, and 
the rich meadows around were studded with gigantic oaks, and 
venerable weather-beaten firs. The finest flocks and herds grazed in 
the pastures, ducks were on the pond, pigs and geese revelled in the 
stubbles, while the spacious yard at the back of the house contained 
Dorking fowls, the finest turkeys, and the best of cows. Old Stobbs 
was in short a gentleman farmer. His wife had been dead some 
years, and Charles and a daughter were the only ties that bound him 
to the world. 

The laudable desire of seeing one's son better than one's self, 
induced old Stobbs to give Charles a good education, not that he sent 
him to college, but he placed him at a good Yorkshire school, which, 
just as he was leaving, and the old gentleman was wondering " what 
to make of him," he happened, while serving at York assizes, to be 
struck with the easy eloquence or " grand tongue," as the country 
people call it, of a neighbour's son, whom he remembered a most 
unpromising boy, that he determined to see if Charles would not 

02 



166 HANDLET CBOSS: 

train from the saddle and gun and make a grand-tongued barrister 
too. 

Having ascertained the line of study that gentleman had pursued, 
in due course, old Stobbs and his son started for London, and after a 
week's sight-seeing, during which they each had their pockets picked 
half a dozen times while staring into shop windows, they found 
themselves one fine morning at the chambers of the great Mr. 
Twister, in Lincoln's Inn Square. 

Mr. Twister was one of those legal nuisances called conveyancers, 
whom it is to be hoped some contrivance will be found to extinguish, 
and he could find a loop-hole for an unwilling purchaser to creep out 
at in the very best of titles. Having plenty to do himself, he took 
as many pupils as ever he could get, to help each other to do nothing. 
Each of these paid him a hundred guineas a year, in return for which 
they had the run of a dingey, carpetless room, the use of some 
repulsive-looking desks, and liberty to copy twenty volumes of 
manuscript precedents, that the great Mr. Twister had copied himself 
when a pupil with great Mr. Somebody-else. 

The chapel clock was striking nine as father and son entered the 
dismal precincts of Lincoln's Inn, and before they got to the uncouth 
outer door that shuts in the chamber set ? the great conveyancer had 
handed his old mackintosh to his bustling clerk, and was pulling a 
little brown wig straight, preparatory to setting to for the day. The 
newly-lit fire shed a scanty ray over the cheerless, comfortless apart- 
ment, which was fitted up with a large library-table piled with red- 
taped dusty papers, the representatives most likely of many thousand 
acres of land, and a rag of a carpet under it, three or four faded 
morocco chairs, and a large glass book-case, with a twenty year old 
almanack flopping in front. 

" Good morning, gentlemen," said the parchment-faced old man, 
as the clerk ushered the fresh fly into the spider's web. " Hope to 
make your better acquaintance," bowing to each. 

Old Stobbs would have sat down and told Twister all hopes and 
fears, but the later, though a voluminous conveyancer, was a concise 
conversationalist, and soon cut short the dialogue by looking at his. 
watch and producing a little red volume indorsed cash book, he 
politely inquired what Christain name he should enter, and then 
observing that his clerk would receive the fee, and show Mr. Charles 
what to do, he civilly bowed them into the outer room. 

Contrasting Twister's brevity with his country solicitor's loquacity, 
old Stobbs told over his -hundred guineas to Mr. Bowker, the afore- 
said clerk ; and just as he was leaving Lincoln's Inn, his mind 
received consolation for the otherwise unpromising investment, by 
seeing the Lord Chancellor arrive in his coach, and enter his court, 
preceded by the mace and other glittering insignia of office. " Who 
knows," thought old Stobbs to himself, " but Charles may some day 
occupy that throne ; " and an indistinct vision flitted across the old 



- fe|v V, i IU 




A WELCOME ARRIVAL. 



OB, MB. JOBBOCKS'S HUNT. 167 

man's mind, of stuffing the woolsack with the produce of his own 
sheep. 

Shortly after, with an aching heart and fervent prayers for his son's 
happiness, the old gentleman returned to Yorkshire ; and Charles, 
having removed his portmanteau from the Piazza to a first-floor 
lodging in Hadlow Street, Burton Crescent, made his second ap- 
pearance at the chambers of Mr. Twister. 

* * * * # * 

"Oh, it's you!" exclaimed Mr. Bowker, answering the gentle 
rat-tat-fat at the outer door, " come in, Sir, come in —no occasion 
to knock! — No ceremony! — Paid your footing yoi» know — One 
of us." 

Mr. Bowker, or Bill Bowker, as he was generally caMed, was a 
stout, square-built, ruddy -complexioned, yellow-haired, bustling, 
middle-aged man, with a great taste for flash clothes and jewellery. 
On the present occasion, he sported a smart nut-brown coat, with a 
velvet collar ; a sky-blue satin stock, secured by numerous pins and 
brooches ; a double-breasted red tartan waistcoat, well laid back ; 
with brownish drab stockingnette pantaloons, and Hessian boots. A 
great bunch of Mosaic seals dangled from a massive chain of the 
same material ; and a cut steel guard, one passing over his waistcoat, 
secured a pair of mother-of-pearl-cased eye-glasses, though Bill was 
not in the least short-sighted. 

"You're early," said Bowker, as Charles deposited a dripping 
umbrella in the stand. " You don't look like a sap either," added he, 
eyeing Charles in a free and easy sort of way, for Bill was a real 
impudent fellow. 

" What is the right hour ? " inquired Charles, with a schoolboy 
sort of air. 

" Right hour ? " exclaimed Bill, " any time you like — saps come at 
opening, others at noon, the honourable not till afternoon. There 
are two chaps copying precedents now, that the laundress left here at 
ten last night — {tinkle, tinkle, tinkle, went a little hand-bell). 
There's the old file himself," observed Bill, bundling off, adding, as 
he went, " be back to you directly." 

* * * # *• # 

" Confound these covenants for quiet enjoyment ! " muttered he, 
returning and opening a pigeon-holed cupboard, labelled like the 
drawers against a chemist's shop wall with all sorts of titles ; " I get 
no quiet enjoyment for them, I know. One, two, three — there — 
three and one left," returning a few sheets of manuscript to their 
hole "free from incumbrances." "Wish I was," thought Bill — 
"and for further assurance — one, two, three," counted Bill, "now 
let's see if he'll have the further assurance to ask for any more 
to-day." 



168 HANDLEY CROSS; 

" Well now, what can I do for you ? " inquired he, returning from 
the delivery of his " common forms." " There's Squelchback's settle- 
ment, that most pupils copy — five hundred pages ! Great precedent ! 
produced ten issues, an arbitration, and a Chancery suit. 

" But I think I've something in my pea-jacket that will suit you 
better," observed Bill, taking up a great coarse large-buttoned pilot 
jacket, and producing a paper from the pocket. " There," said he, 
opening it out, " there's ' Bell's Life in London ; ' you'll see a letter 
from me signed ' Ajax.' Bring it back when you've done, and don't 
let the Honourable catch it or he'll burn it." Saying which, Bill 
presented our pupil with the paper, and opening the door of an 
adjoining apartment, ushered Charles into a room on the right, in 
which sat two youths in very seedy, out at elbow coats, copying away 
out of manuscript books. 

" Mr. Stobbs, gentlemen ! " exclaimed Bill with an air of import- 
ance, " Mr. Frost, Mr. Stobbs ; Mr. Stobbs, Mr. Frost ; Mr. Jones, 
Mr. Stobbs ; Mr. Stobbs, Mr. Jones." 

Mr. Frost and Mr. Jones half rose from their chairs, and greeted 
Mr. Stobbs much in the manner of debtors receiving a chum into 
their already over-crowded apartment. Frost and Jones were both 
working men ; with their ways to make in the world, they had paid 
their hundred guineas for a high-sounding name, and betaken them- 
selves to the mechanical drudgery of precedent copying, with an 
industry worthy of a better direction. 

Sfcobb's early appearance at chambers inspired hopes that he was 
going to be a working man, but the sight of " Bell's Life " demolished 
the idea, and the conversation died out as the pupils gradually 
resumed their weary occupations. 

" The Life " was uncommonly lively that morning ; there had 
been a great fight at No Man's Land, between Big-headed Bob and 
the Pet of the Fancy, which appeared in the glowing language in 
which poor Vincent Dowling, as good a man as ever lived, used to 
clothe his pugilistic accounts. How Big-head was caught, and his 
nob put in chancery, how he sent the Pet's teeth down his trap in 
return, how both were floored, and picked up by their seconds with 
their claret corks out. 

Then there was a host of correspondence ; complaints against 
stewards ; accounts of races ; hints to judges ; and Ajax's letter, in 
which he assumed the toga of his master, and dating from Lincoln's 
Inn, gave some very queer law respecting landlord and tenant. The 
challenges too were numerous. Ugly Borrock of Bristol would eat 
boiled mutton and turnips with any man in England ; Tom Jumper 
had a terrier he would match against any dog of his weight for ten 
sovereigns, to be heard of at the Jew's Harp, City Road ; Joe Scamp 
could be backed to whistle ; Tom King to run on all fours ; and the 
Lord knows what else. 

The advertisements, too, were peculiar. In addition to the usual 



OR, MR. JORROCKS'S HUFT. 169 

inquiry after hounds, and offers of horses, there were a suit of Daniel 
Lambert's clothes for sale, a preserved boa constrictor serpent, notice 
of vocalisation and frontal-frapidigitation, and the meeting of the 
judge and jury society at the Coal-hole. 

Charles kept reading and wondering, amid occasional interruptions 
from the arrival and introduction of pupils. They were mostly 
gentlemenly men, somewhat choked into idleness by the prolixity of 
Squelchback's settlement. Indeed, their chief claims to the title of 
reading men consisted in the perusal of the newspapers, of which old 
Twister furnished the " Times," and they clubbed together for the 
" Chronicle." Bowker's " Life " was well-known, and what with it 
and a pair of cord trousers Charles had on, they made up their minds 
that he was a " sporting gent." 

Between twelve and one o'clock, all the gentlemen, except the 
honourable, had arrived, and the old question of " fire" or " no fire " 
was broached. This had been an open question in the chambers ever 
since old Twister commenced taking double the number of pupils the 
room would accommodate, and as it furnished great scope for 
eloquence and idleness, the debate frequently lasted a couple of hours, 
during which time the Saps used to sneak out to dinner, generally 
getting back in time to vote. This day they stayed, expecting the 
new pupil would " hold forth," but he was so absorbed with " Bell's 
Life," that when called upon by the chair, he gave a silent vote ; 
and just as Bill Bowker answered the bell, and let off his old joke 
about issuing a fiery facias, " the honourable " arrived, and the room 
was full. 

The Hon. Henry Lollington, the ninth son of an Earl, was quite a 
used-up west-end man. He was a tall, drawling, dancing sort of a 
man, in great request at balls, and had a perfect abhorrence of any 
thing coarse or common-place. He was a mortal enemy to Mr. 
Bowker, whom he kept at arm's length, instead of treating as an 
equal as some of the pupils did. 

" Mr. Bowker," drawled he, as he encountered that worthy in the 
passage, " bring me a piece of papar, and let me give you orders 
about my letters — I'm going to Bath." 

" Yes, my Lud ! " responded Bill, in a loud tone, to let Charles 
hear what a great man they had among them. 

" Dem you, Mr. Bowker, I'm not a Lord," responded the Hon. 
Mr. Lollington. 

"Beg pardon, my Lad!" replied the imperturbable Bill, bustling 
out. 

Charles at this moment had got into the notices to correspondents, 
and was chuckling at their humorous originality : — 

" ' Suppose one man to wilfully fire at another with intention of taking away 
his life, but accidentally misses his aim and kills another, will the lawi 
of our country find this man guilty of wilful murder 1 ' asked a cor- 
respondent. 



170 HANDLEY CBOSS; 

"'No,' replied the Editor, 'but a jury will, and he will be comfortably 

hanged.' 
" 'A snake is not a "barber," although he " curls." ' ' The querist is not "snake- 
headed," ' was the answer to another. 
" ' We are not aware that a negro boiled, turns white. If Niger will boil one 

of his children and it turns black, the problem will be soived,' he observed 

to another. 
" J. G. — The ' respectable class of servants ' alluded to, are very properly 

employed in turning the mangle ; we wish, in their leisure hours, they 

would turn J. G. inside out. 
" The best cure for carbuncles is to rub them with cheese, and sleep in the 

domicile of mice, who will eat them off in a night. 
" The masculine for ' flirt ' is cock flirt, if there be such a wretch. 
" Apropos. — Hand-shaking is vulgar in polite society upon merely meeting 

ladies. Pay your respects to the ladies first, married before single. 
" Magdalen. — A gentleman may jilt as well as a lady." 

The following American story graced the columns of general infor- 
mation : — 

" The Negro and the Cheese. — The ' Boston Post ' says, that up at the 
west-end of that city there is a good-natured, fun-making negro, named Parsis, 
who hovers round the grocery stores in that neighbourhood rather more than is 
desirable. Like many other gentlemen of colour, he prides himself upon the 
thickness of his skull, and he is always up for a bet upon his butting powers, and 
well he may be, for his head is hard enough for a battering-ram. The other day 
he made a bet in a store that he could butt in the head of a flour-barrel, and he 
succeeded. He then took up a bet to drive it through a very large cheese, which 
was to be covered with a crash-cloth to keep his wool clear of cheese-crumbs. 
The cheese, thus enveloped, was placed in a proper position, and Parsis starting 
off like a locomotive, buried his head up to his ears in the inviting target. Parsis 
now began to feel himself irresistible, an^ talked up ' purty considerable. 1 A 
plan, however, was soon contrived to take uhe conceit out of him. There being 
some grindstones in the store for sale, one of them was privately taken up, and 
wrapped up in the same manner as the cheese had been, and looked precisely as 
if it were a second cheese, and Parsis readily took another bet for dd. that he 
would butt his head through it as easy as he had sent it through the first. The 
interest of the spectators in the operation became intense. Everything was 
carefully adjusted, and upon the word being given, Parsis darted like an arrow 
at the ambush grindstone: he struck it fair in the centre, and in the next instant 
lay sprawling on the floor, upon which he recoiled. For some minutes he lay 
speechless, and then he raised himself slowly on his knees, and scratching his 
head, said, with a squirming voice, 'Bery hard cheese dat, massa l Dey skim de 
milk too much altogether before dey make him, dat's a fact.' " 

At length, amid many chuckles, having fairly exhausted its con 
tents, in compliance with Bill Bowker's request, Charles left the 
room for the purpose of returning his paper. As he departed, Mr. 
Lollington eyed him through his glass, and with an air of well- 
feigned astonishment, exclaimed, as Charles closed the door, 
" Surely, we've got the Tipton Slasher among us ! " 
" Well," said Bill Bowker, nourishing his great mosaic seals, as he 
received the paper from Charles, " that's something like, isn't it ? 
And how do you like the Honourable ? By the way, I forgot to 
introduce you I Never mind, soon get acquainted — manner against 
him — but a good-hearted fellow when you know him. Saw him give 



OR, MR. JORROCKS'S HUNT. 171 

a gal half-a-crown once for picking up his glove — noble, wasn't it ? 
Your fiddle-strings will begin to grumble, I guess, for want of your 
dinner, and by the way, that reminds me, if you havn't got yourself 
suited for lodging, we have an excellent first-floor disengaged, and 
Mrs. B. and her sister will be happy to do for you. — Smart gal — 
Dances at the * Cobourg ; ' " and thereupon Bill, who had exchanged 
his fine brown coat for a little grey thing that seemed undetermined 
whether to be a jacket or a coat, kimbo'd his arms, pointed his toe, 
and pirouetted in the middle of his office. 

Charles replied, that he had just taken lodgings in Hadlow Street. 

" What, at the feather-maker's ? " inquired Bowker, balancing on 
one leg. 

" No," replied Charles ; " at Mrs. Hall's, a widow woman's, number 
twenty something." 

" I know her ! " exclaimed Bill, resuming both feet, " left-hand 
side of the way, going up — D — d bitch she is, too (aside) ; pawned 
her last lodger's linen — Well, perhaps you'll bear us in mind, in case 
she don't suit — Quiet house — no children — private door — sneck key 
— social party. You'll find London deuced dull without ac- 
quaintance." 

This last observation came home with uncommon keenness, for 
Charles had begun to feel the full force of that London loneliness, 
which damps the spirit of many an ardent genius from the country. 
At their own market town of Boroughbridge, he met familiar faces at 
every turn, while, in London, all hurried on, or looked as they would 
at an indifferent object — a dog or a post. The style of living too 
disgusted him. 

Instead of the comfortable well-stored table, and cheerful fire, he 
had been accustomed to at home, he had to stew into hot chop- 
houses, where they doled out their dinners in portions, and a frowsy 
waiter kept whisking a duster, to get him away the moment his 
dinner was done. The dull freedom of manhood did not compensate 
for the joyousness of boyish restraint. 

Mr. Bowker did not give him much time for reflection — " Should 
have been glad to have taken you to the Cobourg to-night," observed 
he, " but have a particular engagement, and that reminds me, I must 
get one of our saps to answer the door when I go, for I must be off 
before seven. Have to meet a particular friend of mine, a great fox- 
hunter, to introduce him at the Blue Dragon Yard, where he wants 
to choose a terrier for the great hunt in Surrey he belongs to. Des 
say I could take you if you liked ? " 

Charles had a taste for terriers, and no taste for his own society, 
and without ascertaining what Bowker's offer amounted to, he gladly 
accepted it, and just as that worthy had fixed for him to meet him at 
his snuff and cigar warehouse in Eagle Street, Red Lion Square, old 
Snarle tinkled the bell for his biscuit, and Charles returned to the 
pupils' room. 



172 UANDLEY CBOSS ; 

Having settled, on the motion of Mr. Lollington, that Charles was 
a snob, he met with little encouragement from his brother pupils. 
They answered his questions, and were civil, but that was all. There 
was no approach to sociality, and as a dirty, slip-shod straw-bonneted 
hag of a laundress scattered some block tin candlesticks with thick- 
wicked candles about the pupils' room, Charles repaired to a neigh- 
bouring chop-house, to kill time, until he was due at Mr. Bowker's. 
* * * * ■* * 

At the appointed hour, a fan-tailed gas-light revolving between 
miniature negroes, stopped his progress up the poverty-stricken region 
of Eagle Street, and looking up — " Bowker and Co.'s Wholesale 
and Retail Snuff Warehouse," figured in gilt capitals above the 
shop-front, while a further notification of " The Trade Supplied," 
appeared in the window, though the coal-shed, milk-shop, pawn- 
broking, huckstering appearance of the dirty, narrow, irregularly 
built street, gave a palpable contradiction to the assertion. Large 
gilt-lettered barrels were ranged along the walls and floor of the shop, 
and the lower part of the window was strewed with snuff-boxes, 
Meerschaums, loose cigars, and wooden rolls of tobacco. 

" Come in ! " exclaimed a female voice, through the sash-door, 
drawing a green curtain aside and showing a fire in the little back 
parlour — as Charley hesitated about entering, on seeing the shop 
empty — " Oh, it's Mr. Stobbs ! " continued the voice, and a fine fat 
tawdry woman in ringlets and a yellow gauze gown with short sleeves, 
made her appearance. The pleasure of being recognised in London 
was grateful, and Charley readily accepted the lady's invitation to 
enter and sit down. 

" Bill '11 be here presently," observed she, sweeping a handful of 
filbert shells off the green baize table cover, and throwing them on 
to the fire. " Take a glass of brandy," said she, handing a tumbler 
off a side table, and passing the bottle to Charley, to help himself and 
replenish her glass. 

" 'Ot with ? or cold without ? " inquired Mrs. Bowker, pointing to 
a little black kettle singing on the stand on the upper bar of the 
fire. 

Charles took hot with, and so did Mrs. Bowker ; and the handsome 
dancer from the Cobourg coming in, they all had hot together. 

" Is Stobbs here ? " now exclaimed Bowker, bursting into the shop, 
with his pea-jacket collar up to his ears, and a low-crowned broad- 
brimmed hat on his head. — " Ah, you rogue ! — what, you've found 
your way to the ladies, have you ? " continued he, throwing open the 
sash-door. — "Well, sorry to interrupt you, but my friend's awaiting, 
so come along and renew your acquaintance here another time. 
Always happy to see you, you know." Charles bid his fair friends a 
hasty adieu, and Bowker, thrusting his arm through his, led the way 
along Eagle Street to the turning down of Dean Street. Under the 
lamp at the Holborn end, stood a man in shape, make, and dress, the 



OR, MR. JORROCKS'S HUNT. 173 

exact counterpart of Bowker. Low-crowned, broad-brimmed hat, 
pea-jacket up to his ears, tights, and Hessian boots, too. 

" Sorry to have kept you waiting, sir," said Bowker, in the most 
respectful tone, as he approached the figure. " Allow me to intro- 
duce my friend Mr. Stobbs — Yorkshire gentleman, sir, of great 
property — Mr. Stobbs, Mr. Jorrocks ; Mr. Jorrocks, Mr. Stobbs," 
adding, sotto voce, to Stobbs, "member of the Right Worshipful 
Company of Grocers." 

Mr. Jorrocks raised his hat, and Mr. Stobbs did the same, and 
then Bowker, offering an arm to each, they proceeded on their 
way. 

High Holborn, what with its carts, coaches, busses, and general 
traffic, affords little opportunity for conversation, and it was as much 
as the trio could do to keep their place on the flags. 

" Cross here," observed Mr. Bowker, as they neared the narrower 
part of the street, and passing under an archway, they suddenly 
entered upon darkness. 

Savage yells, mingled with the worrying, barking and howling of 
dogs issued from the upper part of a building on the right, and 
Bowker with difficulty made himself heard as he hallooed for Slender 
Bill. 

" I 'opes it's all right," observed Mr. Jorrocks, twisting his watch 
in his fob, and tripping over a heap of something that lay in his 
way. 

" 0, all right, I assure you, sir," replied Bowker, tripping up also. 
" Confound the rascals," continued he, " near as a toucher broke my 
neck." 

" Slender, a-hooi ! " roared he, after three or four ineffectual 
holloas. " Coming, masters ! coming ! " exclaimed a voice, and a 
person appeared on the top of a step-ladder, holding a blacking 
bottle, with a candle stuck in the neck. 

" Come, Billy ! come ! " exclaimed Mr. Bowker, peevishly, " didn't 
I tell you to be on the look-out for company, and here you're letting 
us break our necks in the dark : pretty way to treat gents : show a 
light, come ! " 

Billy, all apologies, tripped down the ladder, and holding the 
candle low enough to discover the steps, crawled backwards, followed 
by Mr. Bowker and his party. 

" What's to pay ? " inquired Mr. Jorrocks, as he reached the 
landing, of a forbidding-looking one-eyed hag, sitting in a little 
curtained corner, partitioned from the scene of action by a frowsy 
green counterpane. 

" 0, Mr. Bowker's free here," observed Bill to his gentle wife, 
drawing aside the curtain, and exhibiting the interior. What a scene 
presented itself ! From the centre of the unceiled hugely rafted roof 
of a spacious building, hung an iron hoop, stuck round with various 
lengths of tallow candles, lighting an oval pit, in which two savage 



174 HANDLEY CROSS; 

bull-dogs were rolling and tearing each other about, under the 
auspices of their coatless masters, who stood at either end applauding 
their exertions. A vast concourse of ruffianly spectators occupied 
the benches rising gradually from the pit towards the rafters, along 
which some were carelessly stretched, lost in ecstasy at the scene 
below. 

Ponderous draymen, in coloured plush breeches, with their enor- 
mous calves clad in dirty white cotton stockings, sat with their red- 
capp'd heads resting on their hands, or uproariously applauding as 
their favourite got the turn. Smithfield drovers, with their badges 
and knotty clubs ; huge coated hackney coachmen ; coatless butchers' 
boys ; dingy dustmen, with their great sou'-westers ; sailors, with 
their pipes ; and Jews, with oranges, were mingled with Cyprians of 
the lowest order, dissolute boys, swell pickpockets, and a few simple 
countrymen. At the far end of the loft, a partition concealed from 
view, bears, badgers, and innumerable bull-dogs ; while " gentlemen 
of the fancy " sat with the great round heads, and glaring eye-balls 
of others between their knees straining for their turn in the pit. 
The yells and screams of the spectators, the baying of the dogs, the 
growling of the bears, the worrying of the combatants, and the 
appearance of the company, caused a shudder through the frames of 
Mr, Jorrocks and the Yorkshireman. 

A volley of yells and plaudits rent the building, as the white dog 
pinned the brindled one for the fourteenth time, and the lacerated 
animal refused to come to the scratch, and as the pit was cleared for 
a fresh " set-to," Slender Billy, with a mildness of manner con- 
trasting with the rudeness of the scene, passed our party on, and 
turned out two coal-heavers and a ticket-porter, to place them advan- 
tageously near the centre. This was a signal for renewed uproar. 

" Make vay for the real swells wot pay ! " roared a stentorian voice 
from the rafters. 

" Crikey, it's the Lord Mayor ! " responded a shrill one from 
below. 

" Does your mother know you're out ? " inquired a squeaking voice 
just behind. 

" There's a brace of plummy ones ; " exclaimed another, as Bowker 
and Jorrocks stood up together. 

" Luff, there ! luff ! be serene ! " exclaimed Slender Billy, stepping 
into the centre of the pit, making a sign that had the effect of 
restoring order on the instant. Three cheers for the Captain were 
then called for by some friend of Bowker's, as he opened his pea- 
jacket ; and while they were in course of payment, two more bull- 
dogs entered the pit, and the sports were resumed. After several 
dog-fights, Billy's accomplished daughter lugged in a bear, which 
Billy fastened by his chain to a ring in the centre of the pit. 

" Any gentleman," said he, looking round, " may have a run at 
this 'ere hanimal for sixpence ; " but though many dogs struggled to 



OR, MR J'OBROCKS'8 HUNT. 176 

get afc him, they almost all turned tail, on finding themselves solus 
with Bruin. Those that did seize were speedily disposed of, and the 
company being satisfied, the bear took his departure, and Billy 
announced the badger as the next performer. 

Slender Billy's boy, a lad of nine years old, had the first run at 
him, and brought the badger out in his mouth, after which it was 
drawn by terriers at so much a run, during which Mr. Jorrocks 
criticised their performances, and with the aid of Charley Stobbs 
succeeded in selecting one for the glorious old Surrey. 

But enough of Slender Billy and his bull-dogs. He was a well- 
known character, but all we have to do with him just now is as the 
medium of introduction between Jorrocks and Stobbs. That intro- 
duction ripened into intimacy, and many were the excursions our 
friends had together, Jorrocks finding cash, and the Yorkshireman 
company. But for Jorrocks, and perhaps Belinda, Stobbs would very 
soon have left the law, whose crotchety quibbles are enough to disgust 
any one with a taste for truth and straightforward riding • and this 
lengthened episode brings us back to the point from which we started, 
namely, Charley's arrival at Handley Cross. 

" 'Ow are ye, my lad o' wax ? " exclaimed Mr. Jorrocks, bouncing 
out in his sky-blue dressing-gown and slippers, as Charley appeared 
at the garden-gate, where we have most unceremoniously kept him 
standing during his introduction. 

" Delighted to see you ! " continued Mr. Jorrocks, wringing his 
hand, and hopping about on one leg ; " most 'appy indeed ! Bed 
for yourself — stable for your 'oss ; all snug and comfey, in fact. 
Binjimin ! — I say, Binjimin ! " 

" Coming, sir ! — coming ! " replied the boy, setting himself into a 
fustian coat. 

" Take this 'ere 'oss to the stable, and bid Pigg treat him as one of 
Lis own — w r arm stall — thick blanket — lots o' straw— and crushed 
corn without end. Now, come in," said he to Stobbs, "and get 
some grub ; and let's hear all about it." In then they bundled 
together. 

Pretty Belinda took Charles's profferred hand with a blush, and 
Mrs. Jorrocks re-entered the room in a clean cap and collar just as 
the trio w T ere settling into seats. What a burst of inquiries 
followed ! 

" 'Ow's the dad ? * asked Mr. Jorrocks. 

" 'Ow did you come ? " inquired Mrs. Jorrocks. 

" How is your sister ? " half whispered Belinda. 

" Where have you been since we last saw you ? " was demanded 
before Stobbs had answered any of the preceding, and a great cry of 
conversation was got up. 

In the evening Mr. Jorrocks celebrated the event with a couple of 
bottles of fine fruity port, and a night-cap of the usual beverage— 
" B. and W." as he briefly designates his brandy and water. 



176 



HANDLE Y CEOSS ; 



CHAPTER XX. 



MR. JORROCKS AT EARTH. 




Master took a cooling 
draught — a couple of Seidlitz 
powders — the next morning, 
intending to lie at earth as 
he said, and was later than 
usual in getting down-stairs. 
Stobbs improved his oppor- 
tunity, and got sixteen 
kisses of Belinda, according 
to Ben's reckoning, who was 
listening outside, ere Mrs. 
Jorrocks made her appear- 
ance either. . A voluminous 
correspondence — a week's St. 
Botolph's-lane letters, and 
many private ones, some 
about hounds, some about 
horses, awaited our master's 
descent. The first he opened 
was the following from our 
old friend Dick Bragg : — 

" London. 



" Dear Mr. J., 
" Thouah I fear it may 

"A COUPLE OF SEIDLITZ." ^ •' , J 

involve a charge of fickleness, 
I feel it due to myself to make the following communication .— 

" The fact of my haviny offered my services to you having transpired, 
I have been so persecuted ivith remonstrances from those whose judgment 
and good opinion lvalue, and representations of the impolicy of accepting 
offic% other than in similar administrations to those I have heretofore 
co-operated ivith, that I really have no alternative but most respectfully 
to request that you will allow me to ivithdraw my previous communi- 
cation. It is, I assure you, with great reluctance that I make this 
announcement, Mowing, as I do, by sad experience, the difficulty there 
is in obtaining talent even under the most favourable circumstances, let 
alone in the middle of a season, when every body worth haviny is taken 
up ; but it is one of those casualties that cannot be helped, and, in 
making this communication, allmv me to assure you, Sir, that 1 shall 
alivays speak of you with respect, Sir — yes, Sir, I shall always speak 



OB, MH. JOELiOCKS'S HUNT. 177 

of you with respect, Sir, and esteem you, Sir, as an upright gentleman 
and a downright fox-hunter. Allow me to subscribe myself, 

" Yours very faithfully, 

"Rich. Bragg, 
" To — Jotieockes, Esquire, 
" Handley Cross." 

" Ah ! Rich. Bragg indeed," grunted Mr. Jorrocks when he read 
it, " you must think I've a deal more o' the Michaelmas bird i' me 
ihan I 'ave to believe you wrote this afore you got my letter. There, 
Batsay," said he as the handsome maid now entered with the hissing 
urn, " take that," handing it to her, " and make curl-papers on't, 
and don't you be so 'eavy on my witey-brown." 

The next letter he selected was from Mr. Bowkcr. 

"Lincoln's Inn, London. 
"Dear Sir, 

" On calling to pay * The Life ' for your advertisement of ' A 
hunting-man wanted? he expressed a ivish for you to contribute infor- 
mation respecting the sport with your hounds; and, knoiving I had 
the honour of your acquaintance, he wished me to sound you on the 
subject. He says he gets lots of pot-house accounts of stag, and bag 
fox-hunting, with harriers, and such like rubbish ; but what he wants 
is real sporting accounts of runs with superior establishments like yours. 
An editor, you know, can't be everywhere, or he would like to have a 
horse in every hunt in the kingdom ; but he says if you would have the 
kindness to furnish off-hand accounts, he would spice them up with 
learning and Latin. He has ' Moore's Dictionary of Quotations,'' and 
can come the classical quite as strong as the great Mr. Pomponius Ego, 
whom they reckon the top-saivyer in that line. Some gentlemen, ' The 
Life ' says, send their accounts to a third parly, to be copied and 
forwarded as from an indifferent person ; but that consumes time with- 
out ansivering a good end, as the utmost secrecy may be relied upon, 
and ' The Life ' is most particular in combing them into English. Ln 
short, gentlemen unaccustomed to public ivriling may forward their 
accounts to him with perfect confidence. 

" You will be sorry to hear the Slender is in trouble. He had long 
been suspected of certain spiritual runnings, in the shape of an illicit 
still, at the back of his horse- slaughtering premises in Copenhagen 
Fields, and an exciseman ivas despatched last Thursday to ivafch, and, 
if necessary, take him. Somehow or other the exciseman has never cast 
up again, and poor Billy has been taken up on suspicion of having sent 
Mm, to that bourne from whence no traveller returns? 1 hope he hat 
not, out time will show. 

" Susan Slummers ^u cut the Cobourg, and got engaged at Sailer j 



17fi HA NDLE Y CIIOSS ; 

Wells, under the name of Clarissa Howard. I said if she was choosing 
i name, she might as well take a good one : she is to do genteel comedy, 
md is not to be called upon to paint black or wear tights. Her legs 
have got rather gummy of lute, from too constant strain on the sinews, 
and the manager wanted to reduce her salary, and Susan kicked in 
consequence ; and this reminds me that I have seen a blister in your 
stable — James's or Jones's, I forget which — that your groom, Benjamin, 
told me you applied to horses' legs when they are enlarged. Might 1 
take the liberty of asking if you think it would be beneficially applied 
in this case ? 

" As I presume from a letter I had from Mr. Stobbs the other day 
that he ivill be ivith you by this time, perhaps you will have the kindness 
to inform him that Mrs. B. will send his ' baccy ' by the early train to- 
morroiv, along with your Seidlitz powders, so as to make one parcel do. 
Old Tivisfs business is sadly fallen off — my fees have diminished a 
third — though my tivist hasnH. We have only half the number oj 
pupils we had. That, however, makes no difference to me, as I never 
got anything from them but sauce. I hope Mrs. and Miss Jorrocks are 
enjoying the pure air of Handley Cross. We are enjoying a dense 
yellow fog here — so thick and so damp, thai the gas-lights, which have 
been burning all day, are hardly visible ; I tripped over a child at the 
corner of Chancery Lane, and pitched head foremost into an old chestnut- 
woman's roasting oven. 

" By the way, I read an advertisement in a north country paper the 
other day, of ' the eatage of the fog in a park to let. 1 1 tvish some one 
would take the eatage of it here ; he'd get a good bellyful, I'm sur$. 
Adieu. Excuse haste and a bad pen, as the pig said when he ran away 
from the butcher ; and believe me to remain, 

" Dear Sir, 



H To John Jorrocks, Esq. 

" Master of Fox-Hounds, &c. &c. 

" Handley Cross Spa." 



" Yours most respectfully, 

"Wm. Bowker. 



Then before Mr. Jorrocks got half through his city letters and 
made his pencil observations thereupon — who to do business with, 
whose respectability to inquire into, who to dun, who to decline deal- 
ing with, the gossiping Handley Cross Paul Pry, with its list of 
arrivals, fashionable millinery, dental surgery advertisements, &c, 
having passed the ordeal of the kitchen, made its appearance with 
the following important announcement : — 

"The Handley Cross (Mr. Jorrocks's) Fox-hounds 
"Will meet on Wednesday at the Round of Beef and Carrota, 



OB, MR. JO BROOKS'S HUNT. 17» 

Appledove-road, and on Saturday at the Mountain Daisy, nea* 
Hookey's Hutch, each day at ten o'clock. 

•'N.B. — These hounds will hunt Mondays and Fridays, with 
an occasional bye on the Wednesdays in future." 

" Why you're advertising, I see ! " exclaimed Charley, on reading 
the above. 

" I am," replied Mr. Jorrocks, with a grin, " comin' it strong, 
arn'tl?" 

" Yery," replied Stobbs, " three days a week — will want a good 
many horses for that." 

" 0, I sha'n't be much troubled on the Wednesdays," rejoined 
Mr. Jorrocks ; " shall jest make that long or short 'cordin' as it 
suits." 

" But you'll go out I s'pose," observed Stobbs. 

" In course," replied Jorrocks. " In course — only I shall go out 
at my own hour — may be height, may be sivin, may be as soon as we 
can see. Not many o' these waterin' place birds that'll get hup for 
an 'unt, only ye see, as I wants their money, I must give them walue 
received — or summut like it ; but there's nothing like the mornin' 
for makin' the foxes cry ' Capevi ! ' " added he, with a grin of 
delight. 

" Nothing," assented Stobbs. 

" We'll 'ave some rare chiveys ! " exclaimed Mr Jorrocks, his eyea 
glistening as he spoke. 

" Hope so," replied Stobbs, adding, " let's give them a trot out 
to-day." 

" To-day," mused our master — " to-day," repeated he, thrusting 
his hands deep in his pockets, and then taking a dry shave of his 
chin — " couldn't well go out to-day. To-morrow if you like — got a 
lot o' letters to write and things to do— not quite right nouther — feel 
as if I'd eat a hat or a pair o' worsted stockins." 

" To-morrow will be too near your regular day," observed Stobbs. 

" Ah, true, so it would," assented Mr. Jorrocks, thinking he must 
attend to appearances at first, at all events. 

" Better give them a round to-day," continued Stobbs, returning 
to his point. 

"Not prepared," mused Jorrocks— " not prepared. Pigg hasn't 
got himself ' fettled oop ' yet, as he calls it." 

" Oh yes he has," replied Stobbs — " saw him trying on his tops as 
1 came down stairs, and his red coat and waistcoat were lying on the 
kitchen table." 

" Indeed," replied Mr. Jorrocks—" wonder 'ow he looks in 'em. 
Only a hugly beggar out on 'em." 

" He's a varmint looking chap," observed Stobbi. 

" Yes, he is," assented Mr. Jorrocks ; " 'ope he's keen." 

p2 



180 HANDLE Y OBOSS ; 

" How's Ben off that way ? " asked Stobbs. 

" Oh, Bin's a fine bouy," observed Jorrocks, " and I makes no 
doubt 'ill train on. Rome wasn't built in a day, Constantinople 
nouther." 

"Certainly not/' assented Stobbs, thinking if Ben made a sports- 
man he was very much mistaken. 

After a vigorous attack upon the muffins, kidneys, fried ham, 
marmalade, and other good things adorning Mr. Jorrocks's breakfast 
table, our Yorkshire friend again tried to draw the great M.F.H. for 
a day. 

" Couldn't we give the 'ounds a trot out by way of exercise, think 
ye ? " asked he. 

" Don't know," grunted Jorrocks from the bottom of his coffee- 
cup. "Wot good would that do ? " 

" Make 'em handy," replied Stobbs. 

" 'Andy enough," replied our master, bolting a large pitfce of 
muffin. " 'Andy as ladies' maids. Can do everything 'cept pay 
their own pikes." 

Despite this confident assertion, Stobbs still stuck to him. First 
he proposed that Pigg and he should take the hounds out together, 
This Jorrocks wouldn't stand. " Be sure to get into mischief." 
Then Stobbs thought it would do Jorrocks a vast deal of good to 
have a bump on one of his great rough horses. Our master couldn't 
quite gainsay this, though he did look out of the window, observing 
that the sun had risen very red, that he thought it would rain, and 
he shouldn't like to get wet. 

" Oh, it 'ill not rain," replied Stobbs — " not till night at least," 
added he, confidently. 

" Don't know that," grunted Mr. Jorrocks ; " Gabey seems to be 
of a different 'pinion," added he, as the noble old peacock now 
emerged from under a sun-bright Portugal laurel, and stretching his 
neck, and flapping his wings, uttered a wild piercing scream. 

" Dash my vig, but that looks like it ! " exclaimed Mr. Jorrocks ; 
adding, as he caught up his right foot with a shake of his head, 
" Gabriel Junks is seldom wrong, and my corns are on his side." 

Still Stobbs persevered, and, by dint of agitation, at length suc- 
ceeded in getting Jorrocks not only to go out, but to have a draw in 
Newtimber Forest ; Stobbs observing, and Jorrocks assenting, that 
there would be very little more trouble in running the hounds through 
the cover than in trotting them along the road. And, with some 
misgivings, Jorrocks let Stobbs go to make the arrangements, while 
he applied himself vigorously to his letters. 



OB, MR. JORROCKS'S HUNT. 



181 



CHAPTER XXI. 



A QUIET BYE. 




IGG- was all eager for the 
fray, and readily came into 
Stobbs's suggestion, that 
they should go out, and just 
take their chance of finding 
a fox, and of his going to 
ground or not as luck and 
his courage served. 

" Ar'll gan to'ard Duncan's, 
and get his grey for wor 
Ben," said Pigg, "gin ye'U 
set the lad on to seddle the 



; " adding, ' 
warned 'ill 

55 



the S 



qui-er 



ride Arter- 



to 



rest 
ar's 
xerxes 

Off then Pigg went 
Duncan Nevins, and re- 
turned with a woe begone 
looking horse in a halter, 
before Stobbs had made any 
progress in his department. 
Ben was not to be found. 
Neither at Mrs. Candy the 
tart- wo man's, nor at Mrs. 
Biffin's apple- stall, nor at Strap the saddler's, nor at any of his usual 
haunts, was anything to be heard of the boy. 

The fact was, he had been unable to resist a ride at the back of a 
return chaise passing along Juniper Street, and being caught by his 
apron in the spikes, had been carried nearly to Copse Field before 
he got himself disentangled. 

The oracle Gabriel having continued his monitions, Mr. Jorrocks 
thought to make the absence of the boy an excuse for not going, but 
now having both Stobbs and Pigg ranged against him, he was soon 
driven from the attempt. Pigg said " Squi-er Stobbs wad de quite 
as weal as Ben," and Jorrocks, little loth at heart perhaps, at length 
hoisted himself on to Arterxerxes with a swag that would have sent a 
light-carcassed horse over, letting the now smartly-clad Pigg ride the 
redoubtable Xerxes. So with Stobbs in front, Jorrocks with the 
hounds, and Pigg behind, they set off at a gentle trot, telling the in- 
quirers that they were only going to exercise, a delusion that Mr. 
Jorrocks's hat seemed to favour. 

Bump, bump, — jog, jog, — on they went ; Mr. Jorrocks now chid- 



1S3 EANDLET CROSS; 

ing, now coaxing, now dropping an observation fore or aft, now 
looking at the sky, and now at his watch. 

" Des say we shall find pretty soon," observed Mr. Jorrocks ; " for 
they tells me the cover has not been disturbed this long time ; and 
there's lots of lyin' — nice, and dry, and warm — foxes like damp beds 
as little as Christians. Uncommon pretty betch, that Barbara, — like 
Bravery as two peas, — by Billin'sgate out o' Benedict, I think. 'Opes 
we may get blood ; it'll do them a deal o' good, and make them 
steady for the Beef and Carrots. Wen we gets the 'ounds all on 
the square, we 'ill 'ave the great Mr. Pomponious Hego to come and 
give us a good hoiling. Nothin' like soap." 

" Hooi ! you chap with the turnip-cart ! " now roared our master, 
to a cartman coming up ; " vot do you mean by stickin' your great 
ugly wehicle right afore my 'ounds ! — Mr. Jorrocks' 'ounds, in fact ! 
I'll skin ye alive ! " added he, looking at the man, who stood staring 
with astonishment. And again they went, bump, bump, jog, jog, at 
that pleasant post-boy pace, that has roused the bile of so many 
sportsmen, and set so many riders fighting with their horses. 

At length they reached the cover side, — a long wood stretching up 
the sides of a gently sloping hill, and widening towards the summit. 
On the crown there stood a clump of Scotch firs and hollies, forming 
a landmark for many miles round. Turning from the high-road 
into a grass field on the right, the party pulled up to reconnoitre the 
ground, and make their final arrangements. 

" Now," said Mr. Jorrocks, standing erect in his stirrups, and 
pointing with his whip, which had the effect of making half the pack 
break towards the cover, — " Now," said he, as soon as he had got 
them turned, " this is a good big wood — 'two 'undred acres or more 
— and they tells me the foxes generally lie on the risin' ground, to- 
wards the clump. The vind's north- vest ; so if we puts hin at this 
point, we shall draw up it, and p'rhaps get close to the warmint at 
startin', which is a grand thing ; but, howsomever, let's be doin\ 
Draw your girths, Pigg, or your 'oss '11 slip through his saddle. Now 
observe, there are three rides — one on each side, one hup the middle, 
all leadin' to the clump ; and there are cross ones in all directions ; so 
no man need be 'fraid o' losin' himself. Now let's put in. Pigg, 
open the wicket." 

" It's locked," observed Pigg, running the hammer of his whip 
into the rails, throwing himself off his horse, and pulling a great 
clasp-knife out of his pocket as he spoke. " Sink, but it aye gars mar 
knife laugh to see a lock put upon leather," added he, as he drew the 
huge blade across the stiff band that secured the gate. Open flew the 
wicket — in went the pack with a dash, a crash, and a little musio 
from the riotous ones, which gradually yielded to the "Have a 
cares I " and " Gently, Wenus ; " " Gently, Lousey " (Louisa), with 
the cracks of the whips of Mr. Jorrocks and his huntsman. 

u Now, Pigg, my frind, let's have a touch o' north country science,' 



OR, MR. JORROCKS'S HUNT. 133 

observed Mr. Jorrocks, bringing his horse alongside of his hunts- 
man's. " I'd like well to kill a fox to-day ; I'd praise you werry 
much if we did." 

" Aye, aye" said Pigg. " Hoic in, Lousey ! Solid puddin's better 
nor empty praise. Have at him there, Statesman, old boy, — ye look 
like a finder. Deil bon me, but ar thought ar winded him at the 
crossin' there," added Pigg, pulling his horse short back to a cross 
ride he had just passed. " Hoic in there, Priestess, ould gal," said 
he, to an old black and white bitch, feathering round some gorse 
among the underwood ; waving his hand as he spoke. " That's 
gospel, ar warrant ye," continued he, watching her movements. 

" What will't tak for t'ard nag ? " inquired Pigg, of a besom- 
maker, who now came down the ride with a wretched white Rosinante, 
laden with stolen brushwood. — " Have at him, there, Challenger 1 " 
speaking to a hound. 

"Twenty shillin'," replied the man. 

" Qie ye eight ! " was the answer. — ' ' Yooi, push him up ! " to the 
hound. 

"Tak' twelve," rejoined the tinker. " Good horse— can get up of 
hisself, top puller and all ! " 

" Aye, but we dinna want him to poole ; we want him to eat," re- 
plied Pigg. "Had still!" exclaimed he; " ar has him! — Tally 
ho ! " roared Pigg, cramming his spurs into his horse, and dashing 
past Jorrocks like a shot. Out went both horns — twang — twang — 
twang sounded Pigg's ; wow ! wow ! wow ! went Jorrocks's in deeper 
and more substantial notes, and in a very short time, the body of the 
pack were laid on the scent, and opened the concert with an over- 
powering burst of melody. 

" Oh, beautiful ! beautiful ! " exclaimed Mr. Jorrocks, in raptures, 
as each hound put his nose to the ground, and acknowledged the cor- 
rectness of the scent. " Oh, beautiful indeed ! " added he, thumping 
the end of his horn upon his thigh, as though he were cutting large 
gun- waddings out of his breeches. " 'Ow true to the line ! best 
'ounds in England, by far — never were such a pack ! Shall have a 
rare Chevy — all alone to ourselves ; and when I gets home I'll write 
an account to ' Bell's Life,' and * The Field,' which nobody can con- 
tradict. Hark forrard ! hark forrard ! hark forrard ! away ! " con- 
tinued he, ramming the spurs into Arterxerxes's sides, to induce him 
k) change his lumbering trot into a canter, which having accom- 
plished, Mr. Jorrocks settled himself into a regular home seat in his 
saddle, and pounded up a grass ride through the centre of the wood 
in a perfect frenzy of delight, as the hounds worked their way a little 
to his right with a full and melodious cry. 

" Hould hard, ye sackless ould sinner ! " now cried Pigg, crossing 
the main ride at a canter, and nearly knocking Jorrocks off his horse, 
as he charged him in his stride. " Had (hold) bye, ar say ! " he 
roared in his master's ear ; " or ar'll be dingin' on ye down — fos 



184 HAND LET CKOSS; 

crossed reet in onder husse's tail, and thou sits glowcrm* there aad 
never see'd him." 

Out went both the horns again — twang ! — twang ! — twang ; wow ! 

wow ! wow ! 

''• Hark together ! hark ! get forrard, hounds, get forrard ! " cried 
Mr. Jorrocks, cracking his ponderous whip at some lingerers that 
loitered on the ride, questioning the correctness of their comrades' 
cry. " Get forrard, I say ! " repeated he, with redoubled energy. 
" Confound your unbelievin' souls ! " added he, as they went to cry. 
" Now they are all on him again 1 Oh, beautiful, beautiful ! " ex- 
claimed Mr. Jorrocks, in ecstacies. " I'll lay five punds to a fiddler's 
farthin' they kill him. Mischief in their cry ! — a rare scent — can 
wind him myself." So saying, he gathered up his reins again, thrust 
his feet home in the stirrups, crammed the spurs into his horse, and 
rolled back on the ride he had just come up. " Hark ! " now cried 
our master, pulling up short and holding his hand in the air, as 
though he had a hundred and fifty horsemen at his tail to check in 
their career. " Hark ! " again he exclaimed ; " whoay, 'oss,whoay !" 
trying to get Arterxerxes to stand still and let him listen. "Now, 
fool, vot are you champing the bit for ? — whoay, I say ! He's turned 
short again ! Hoick back ! Hoick back ! They've overrun the 
scent," continued he, listening, as the chorus gradually died out ; 
•' or," added he, " he may have got to ground." 

" Tally ho! " now screamed Jorrocks, as a magnificent fellow in a 
spotless suit of ruddy fur crossed the ride before him at a quiet, 
stealing, listening sort of pace, and gave a whisk of his well-tagged 
brush on entering hhe copse- wood across. " Hoop ! hoop ! hoop I 
hoop ! " roared M.:. Jorrocks, putting his finger in his ear, and 
holloaing as loud as ever he could shout ; and just as he got his horn 
fumbled nast the guard, Dexterous, Affable, and Mercury, dashed 
across tho ride, lashing their sterns and bristling for blood, and Pigg 
appeared a little below cantering along with the rest of the pack at 
his horse's heels. " Here, Pigg I there, Pigg I " roared Mr. Jorrocks ; 
"just by the old hoak-stump. — Gently now ! ah, ware 'eel— that's not 
the vay of him ; he's hover to the left, I tells ye. That's him ! 
Mercury has him. Hoick to Mercury, hoick ! get away, get away, 
get away, 'oundsf hoick together ! hoick together ! Oh, Pigg, wot a 
wopper he is ! " observed Mr. Jorrocks, as Pigg joined him in the 
ride. " The biggest fox whatever was seen — if we do but kill him — 
my vig ! I'll eat his tongue for supper. Have it grilled ' cum grano 
salis,' with a lee-tle Cayenne pepper, as Pomponius Hego would 
say." 

" Aye," replied Pigg, grinning with delight, his cap-peak in the 
air and the tobacco-juice streaming down his mouth like a Chinese 
mandarin. " Ar'll be the death of a shillirf mysel' J *' Saying which 
he hustled his horse and turned to his hounds. 

Away they go again full cry across the cover to the utmost limits. 




^>- v ^r^^T 



THE BIGGEST FOX WHATEVER WAS SEEN. 



OB, MR. JORROCKS'8 HUNT. 1M 

and then back again to the far side. Now the fox takes a full swing 
round, but won't quit — now he cuts across — now Mr. Jorrocks views 
him, and swears he'll have his brains as well as his tongue for supper. 
Pigg has him next, and again comes Mr. Jorrocks's turn. " Dash 
my vig, but he's a tough 'un ! " observed Mr. Jorrocks to James 
Pigg, as they met again on the rising ground at the top of the ride, 
where Mr. Jorrocks had been fifteen times and Pigg seventeen, both 
their horses streaming with perspiration, and the blue and yellow 
worsted fronts of the bridles embossed with foam. " Dash my vig, 
but it's a million and a half of petties," continued Mr. Jorrocks, 
looking at his watch, and seeing it wanted but twenty minutes to 
four, " that we adwertised, for there's a wast o' go left in him yet, 
and he'll take the shine out of some of our 'ounds before he is done 
with them — send them dragglin' 'ome with their sterns down — make 
'em ciy capevi, I'm thinking." 

" Niver fear ! " exclaimed Pigg — " niver fear ! — whativer ye de 
keep Tamboreen a rowlin' — yonder he gans ! ar wish it mayn't be a 
fresh un. Arn't draggled a bit." 

" Oh, I 'opes not ! " exclaimed Mr. Jorrocks, the picture of despair 
" Would eat him, brush and all, sooner than that. Oh, dear ! oh, 
dear ! a fresh fox would be cruel — 'ounds deserve him — worked him 
well." 

" Now they begin to chass ! " exclaimed Pigg, listening to the 
ripening chorus. "Aye, but there's a grand Bcent I — Ar'll be the 
death of a shillin' if we de but kill him. How way, ould man, how 
way," continued Pigg, cheeringly, jerking his arm to induce his 
master to follow. " Whativer ye de, keep Tamboreen a rowlin' ! " 
continued Pigg, spurring and jagging his horse into a canter. 

On man and master go — now they meet Charley, and all three are 
together. Again they part company for different rides, each accord- 
ing to his fancy. There is an evident improvement in the scent, but 
whether from a fresh fox, or the hounds having got nearer the hunted 
one, is matter of doubt. Mr. Jorrocks is elated and excited beyond 
expression. The hounds are evidently working the fox, but the fear 
of a fresh one rather mars his enjoyment. The hounds turn short, 
and Pigg and Charles again join Mr. Jorrocks. 

" A ! man alive, but they are a dustin* his jacket ! " exclaimed 
Pigg, pulling up to listen ; — " iv'ry hund's at him ; " saying which 
he pulled out a large steel box and stuffed his mouth full of tobacco. 
***#♦* 

A sudden pause ensues — all still as death — not a note — not even a 
whimper ! 

" Who hoop ! " exclaims Mr. Jorrocks in ecstacies — " Who hoop ! 
I say — heard the leadin' 'ound crack his back I Old Cruiser for a 
guinea ! " 

***♦♦* 

11 Yonder they gan / " cried Pigg, pointing to a hog-backed hill on 



186 &ANDLEY GROSS; 

the left, over which three couple of hounds were straining to gain the 
body of the pack — saying which he clapt spurs to his horse and 
dashed off at full gallop, followed by Charles. 



" Oh, dear ! oh, dear ! " exclaimed Mr. Jorrocks, the picture of 
despair — " wot shall I do ? wot shall I do ? — gone away at this hour 
— strange country — nobody to pull the 'edges down for me or catch 
my 'os if I gets spilt, and there's that Pigg ridin' as if there was not 
never no such man as his master. Pretty kettle of fish ! " continued 
Mr. Jorrocks, trotting on in the line they had taken. A bridle-gate 
let him out of cover, and from the first hill our master sees his hounds 
going like pigeons over the large grazing grounds of Beddingfcon 
Bottoms, with Pigg and Stobbs a little in the rear, riding as hard as 
ever their horses can lay legs to the ground. 



" 'Ow that Scotch beggar rides ! " exclaimed Mr. Jorrocks, eyeing 
Pigg going as straight as an arrow, which exclamation brought him 
to his first fence at the bottom of the hill, over which both horsemen 
had passed without disturbing a twig. 

" 'Old up, 'oss ! " roared Mr. Jorrocks, seizing the reins and whip 
with one hand and the cantrel of the saddle with the other, as Arter- 
xerxes floundered sideways through a low fence with a little runner 
on the far side. " 'Old up ! " repeated he, as they got scrambled 
through, looking back and saying, " Terrible nasty place — wonders I 
ever got over. Should ha' been drund to a certainty if I'd got in. 
Wouldn't ride at it again for nothin' under knighthood— Sir John 
Jorrocks, Knight ! " continued he, shortening his hold of his horse. 
" And my ladyship Jorrocks ! " added he. " She'd be bad to 'old 
—shouldn't wonder if she'd be for goin' to Halmack's. Dash my 
buttons, but I wish I was off this beastly fallow," continued he ; 
" wonderful thing to me that the farmers can't see there'd be less 
trouble i' growin' grass than in makin' these nasty rutty fields. 
'Eavens be praised, there's a gate — and a lane too," saying which he 
was speedily in the latter, and gathering his horse together he set off 
at a brisk trot in the direction he last saw the hounds going. 

Terribly deep it was, and great Arterxerxes made a noise like the 
drawing of corks as he blobbed along through the stiff, holding clay. 

Thus Mr. Jorrocks proceeded for a mile or more, until he came 
upon a red-cloaked gipsy wench stealing sticks from a rotten fence on 
the left. 

" 'Ave you seen my 'ounds, ould gal ? " inquired he, pulling up 
short. 

" Bless your beautiful countenance, my cock angel ! " exclaimed 
the woman, in astonishment at the sight of a man in a scarlet coat 
with a face to match ; " bless your beautiful countenance, you're the 



OR, MR. JORROCKS'S HUNT. 187 

very babe I've been looking for all this blessed day — cross my palm 
with a bit o' siller, and I'll tell you sich a fortin ! " 

" Cuss your fortin ! " roared Mr. Jorrocks, sticking spurs into 
his horse, and grinning with rage at the idea of having pulled up to 
listen to such nonsense. 

" I hope you'll brick your neck, ye nasty ugly ould thief ! " re- 
joined the gipsy, altering her tone. 

'• 'Opes I sharn't" muttered Mr. Jorrocks, trotting on to get out 
of hearing. Away he went, blob, blob, blobbing through the deep 
holding clay as before. 

Presently he pulled up again with a " Pray, my good man, 'ave you 
seen my 'ounds — Mr. Jorrocks's 'ounds, in fact ? " of a labourer 
scouring a fence-gutter. " Don't you 'ear me, man ? " bellowed he, 
as the countryman stood staring with his hand on his spade. 

" I be dull of hearin', sir," at length drawled the man, advancing 
very slowly towards our master with his hand up to his ear. 

" Oh, dear ! oh, dear ! " exclaimed Mr. Jorrocks, starting off again, 
"was there ever sich a misfortinate indiwidual as John Jorrocks ? — 
'Ark ! vot's that ? Pigg's 'orn ! Oh, dear, only a cow ! Come hup, 
'oss, I say, you hugly beast ! — there surely never was sich a worthless 
beast lapped in leather as you," giving Arterxerxes a good double 
thonging as he spoke. " Oh, dear ! oh, dear ! " continued he, " I 
wish I was well back at the Cross, with my 'ounds safe i' kennel. — 
Vot a go is this ! — Dinner at five — baked haddocks, prime piece of 
fore chine, Portingal honions, and fried plum-puddin' ; and now, by 
these darkenin' clouds, it must be near four, and here I he's, miles 
and miles away — 'ounds still runnin', and adwertised for the Beef 
and Carrots on Wednesday — never will be fit to go, nor to the Daisy 
nouther." 

" Pray, my good man," inquired he of a drab-coated, big-basketed 
farmer, on a bay cart-horse, whom he suddenly encountered at the 
turn of the road, " 'ave you seen anything of my 'ounds ? Mr. 
Jorrocks's 'ounds, in fact ? " 

" Yes, sir," replied the farmer, all alive ; " they were running past 
Langford plantations with the fox dead beat close afore them." 

" 'Ow loiig since, my frind ? " inquired Mr. Jorrocks, brightening 
up. 

" Oh, why just as long as it's taken me to come here — mebbe ten 
minutes or a quarter of an hour, not longer certainly. If you put on 
you may be in at the death yet." 

Away went spurs, elbows, and legs, elbows and legs, Arterxerxes was 
again impelled into a canter, and our worthy master pounded along, 
all eyes, ears, and fears. Night now drew on, the darkening clouds 
began to lower, bringing with them fog and a drizzling rain. " Bad 
go this," said Mr. Jorrocks, rubbing his hand down his coat-sleeve, 
and raising his face to ascertain the precise amount of the fall. 
"Bad go, indeed. Got my Sunday 'at on, too. Hooi, bouys ! did 



188 HANDLEY CEOSS ; 

you see th' 'ounds ? " inquired he of a troop of satchel-slung youths, 
plodding their ways homeward from school. 

si Y-e-a-s" at length drawled out one, after a good stare at the 
inquirer. 

" 'Ow long since ? come, quick, bouy ! " 

" May be twenty minutes ; just as we com'd past Hookem-Snivey 
church we see'd fox, and hounds were close ahmfc — he was varra 
tired." 

" Twenty minutes," repeated Mr. Jorrocks, aloud to himself ; 
" twenty minutes — may be a werry long way off by this ; foxes 
travel fast. Vich way were they a-goin' ? " 

" Straight for Staunton-Snivey," drawled the boy. 

" My vig ! " exclaimed Mr. Jorrocks, " vot a run ; if we don't kill 
werry soon, it'll be pitch dark, and then there'll be a pretty kittle o' 
fish — th' 'ounds will kill all the ship (sheep) in the country — shall 
have a bill as long as my arm to pay." 

Fear lent fresh impetus to our worthy friend, and tightening his 
hold of Arterxerxes's head, who now began tripping and stumbling, 
and floundering along in a most slovenly manner, Mr. Jorrocks 
trotted on, and reaching Hookem-Snivey, saw by the foot-people 
standing on the churchyard- wall, that the hounds were " forrard;" 
he turned down a lane to the left of the village stocks, in the direction 
the people were looking, and catching Staunton-Snivey in the distance, 
set off for it as hard as ever he could tear. A pretty clattering he 
made down the stony road. 

Night now drew on apace, and heavy darkening clouds proclaimed 
a fast approaching storm. At Staunton-Snivey he learned that the 
hounds had just passed the turnpike on to the Downs, with the fox 
" dead beat close afore them ; " and still unwilling to give in, though 
every moment increased his difficulties, he groped open a bridle-gate, 
and entered upon the wide-extending Plain. The wind had now 
risen, and swept with uncommon keenness over the unprotected 
open. The drizzling rain too became changed into larger, heavier 
drops, and thrusting his hat upon his brow, Mr. Jorrocks buttoned 
his coat up to the throat, and wrapping its laps over his thighs, 
tucked them in between his legs and the saddle. Dismal and dis- 
heartening were his thoughts, and many his misgivings for his rash- 
ness. " Oh, dear ! oh, dear ! " muttered he, " wot a most momentous 
crisis — lost ! lost ! lost ! — completely lost ! Dinner lost ! 'ounds 
lost, self lost — all lost together ! Oh, vot evil genius ever tempted 
me from the lovely retirement o' Great Coram Street ? Oh ! why did 
I neglect the frindly warnin' o' Gabriel Junks ? Change, change — 
storm, storm — was in his every scream, and yet I would go. Cuss 
the rain, its gettin' down my werry back, I do declare ; " saying 
which he turned the blue collar of his coat up to his ears, and both 
laps flew out with a desperate gust of wind. " Ord rot it," said he, " it's 
not never no use persewerin', may as well give in at once and 'ark back 



OR, MR. JORROCKS'S BUNT. U* 

to Snivey ; my Berlins are wet through, and I shall be drenched in 
another second. " Who-ay, 'oss ! who -ay ; stand still, you hugly 
beast, and let me listen." The ducking-headed brute at length 
obeyed. 

" It is the 'orn," exclaimed Mr. Jorrocks, after sitting listening for 
some time, with his hand to his ear ; " it is the 'orn, Pigg's not far 
off ! There it goes again, but the 'owling wind carries so many ways, 
there's no saying whereabouts he is. I'll blow, and see if 1 can 'ail 
him." Mr. Jorrocks then drew out his horn, and puffed and blew most 
lustily, but the raging tempest scattered the notes before they were well 
out of his mouth, and having exhausted his breath, he again paused, 
born in hand, to listen. Between each blast of the raging hurricane, 
the faint notes of the horn were heard, some coming more fully as the 
gale blew more favourably, and a fuller one falling on his ear, during 
a period of partial lull, Mr. Jorrocks determined on advancing and 
endeavouring to rejoin his lost huntsman. " Come hup, I say, you 
hugly beast ! " exclaimed he, getting Arterxerxes short by the head, 
and digging the spurs freely into his sides. The lumbering brute 
acknowledged the compliment with a sort of half hitch of a kick. 
" Great henterpriseless brute — do believe you'd rayther 'ave a feed o' 
corn than the finest run wot ever was seen," observed Mr. Jorrocks, 
cropping him. Night had now closed in, and even the sort of light 
of darkness that remains so long to the traveller who journeys onward 
with the closing day, deserted him, and earth and sky assumed the 
same sombre hue : — 

" The dragon wing of night o'erspread the earth." 

Scarce a star was visible in the firmament, and the few scattered 
lights that appeared here and there about the country, seemed 
like snatches of hope lit up for the moment to allure and perplex the 
wanderer. 

" If ever mortal man catches me in such a quandary as this again," 
exclaimed Mr. Jorrocks, " I 'opes — oh, dear I who's there ? — Cus 
those Seidlitz pooders ! — SpeaJc, I say ! — vol are you f — Come hup, 
'oss, I say ! " roared he, ramming the spurs into Arterxerxes, who had 
suddenly shied off with a loud snort. " Now for a murder ! " ejacu- 
lated Jorrocks, still cramming in the spurs. 

" E-yah ! E-yah ! E-yah ! " went a donkey, greatly to the relief of 
Mr. Jorrocks's mind, who had clenched his huge hammer-headed whip 
by the middle, so as to give an assailant the full benefit of its 
weight. Out then went his horn again, and the donkey brayed a full 
accompaniment. 

" Oh, the deuce be with the hanimal ! " cried Jorrocks, grinning 
with vexation, " never saw a donkey yet that knew when to 'old his 
tongue. Oh, my vig, vot a vind ! almost blows the 'orn itself ; shall 
be blown to hatoms, I do believe. And the rain too ! I really thinks 
I'm wet to the werry waistband o' my breeches. I'll lay a guinea 'at 



190 H ANDLEY GROSS; 

to a half-crown gossamer I haven't a dry thread upon me in 'alf a 
minute. Got a five-pund note i' my pocket that will be hutterly 
ruined. Sarves me right, for bein' such a hass as take these 'ounds — 
vy wasn't I content with the glorious old Surrey and an occasional 
turn with the Cut-'em-downs ? Well ; I thinks this night will be 
the last of John Jorrocks ! Best master of 'ounds wot ever was seen. 
'Orrible termination to a hactive life ; starved on a common — eat by 
wolves, or shepherds' dogs, which is much of a muchness as far as 
comfort's concerned. Why even yon donkey would be 'shamed of 
such an end. There goes the vind with my 'at — lucky it's tied on," 
added he, trying to catch it as it dangled at his back, " or I should 
never have seen it no more. I'd give fifty punds to be back at 
'Andley Cross — I'd give a 'underd punds to be back at 'Andley 
Cross — knows no more where I am than if I was among the Bohea 
mountains — oh, dear, 'ow it pours ! I'd give two 'underd punds to be 
back at 'Andley Cross — yonder's a light, I do declare — two on 'em — 
come hup, 'oss, I say. The hanimal seems to have no sense ! I'll 
lead you, you nasty hugly brute, for I do believe you'll brick my neck, 
or my back, or both, arter all ; " so saying, Mr. Jorrocks clambered 
down, and getting on to the sheltered side of the animal proceeded to 
plunge and roll, and stagger and stumble across the common, with 
the water churning in his great boots, in the direction of the distant 
lights. 

After a good hour's roll about the open Downs, amid a most pelt- 
ing, pitiless storm, our much-respected master at length neared the 
longed-for lights, which he had kept steadily in view, and found they 
proceeded from lamps at lodges on either side of handsome gates, 
betokening the entrance to a large demesne. Mounting his horse, he 
rode quickly through the gates, and trusting to the sound of 
Arterxerxes' hoofs for keeping the road, he jogged on in search of the 
mansion. Tall stately pines, rising like towers to heaven, with 
sombre yews in massive clumps, now made darkness visible, and 
presently a sudden turn of the road brought a large screen full of 
lights to view, some stationary, others gliding about, which acted like 
sunbeans on our master's mind ; more grateful still was the shelter 
afforded by the lofty portals of the entrance, under which, as if by 
instinct Arterxerxes bore his master, and then stood still to be 
delivered of his load. " The bell 'ill be somewhere here, I guess," 
observed Mr. Jorrocks, dismounting and running his hand up either 
side of the door-posts. " Here's as much door as would serve Jack 
the Giant-killer's castle, and leave a little over." So saying, having 
grasped the bulky handle of a wall-ensconced bell, he gave it a hearty 
pull, and paused as they say for an answer. 

In an instant, two tall, highly-powdered footmen, in rich scarlet 
and white lace-bedaubed liveries, threw wide the folding-doors as 
though they expected Daniel Lambert, or the great Durham ox, 
exhibiting a groom of the chamber and a lusty porter, laying down 



<m MR JORROCKS'S HUNT. 



191 



the newspapers, and hurrying from a blazing fire in the back- 
ground. 

****** 

" Perhaps you would like to be shown to your room, sir, as you 
seem wet ? " observed the groom of the chamber, after a mutual stare, 
which Mr. Jorrocks did not seem likely to interrupt. 




ME. JORROCKS AT OXGAR CASTLE. 



" Seem vet ! " exclaimed Mr. Jorrocks, stamping and shaking him- 
self, " seem vet ; I'm just as vet as a man can be and no vetter ; but 
what shall I do with my 'oss ? The musciful man, you know^ ii 
musciful to his quad." 

" Oh, there's a stall all readv for him, sir ; your servant's been 
here this 'alf-hour and more ; I'll send the "orse round for you, if 



J92 BANDLEY CROSS; 

you'll allow me, sir. Here, Jones, take hold of him, and you, PetfeS", 
run down-stairs, and tell Saul to come and take it round." 

"Yes," added Mr. Jorrocks ; "and tell Pigg to let him have som2 
warm gruel directly, and to get him well done hup, for he's had a 
hard day. Werry clever of the chap," continued Mr. Jorrocks, 
" runnin' to ground here — seems a capital house — wot a passage ! 
like the Thames Tunnel." Jorrocks then stumped in. 

" This way, if you please, sir," said the groom of the chamber, 
motioning him across a magnificent old baronial hall, and turning 
short up a well-lit softly-carpeted winding staircase, he preceded Mr. 
Jorrocks, with a chamber candle, along a lengthy gallery, all hung 
with portraits of grim-visaged warriors, and small-waisted, large 
looming ladies. " This is your room, sir," said he, at length, opening 
a partially closed door, and ushering Mr. Jorrocks into a splendidly 
furnished apartment, whose blazing fire, gleaming on the rich crimsoil 
curtains and hangings of the room, imparted a glow that long 
exposure to the unruly elements made appear quite enchanting,. 
" 'Eavens be praised for these and all other mercies ! " exclaimed the 
grateful Mr. Jorrocks, throwing his hat and whip upon the sofa, 
and plunging into the luxurious depths of a many-cushioned easy- 
chair. 

" Your clothes are laid out, I think, sir," observed the groom of 
the chamber, casting a glance at another sofa, on which clean linen, 
dress clothes, shiny thin shoes, were ranged in the most orthodox 
order. " P'rhaps you'd like some hot water, sir ? " 

" Yes, I should," replied Mr. Jorrocks, " werry much — and a little 
brandy, if you've no objection." 

" Certainly, sir, certainly," replied the well-drilled servant, giving 
the top log on the fire a lift so as to make it blaze, and lighting the 
toilet -table candles. 

All this passed with such extraordinary rapidity — the events of the 
day had been so numerous and exciting — the transition from the 
depths of misery to the height of luxury so sudden, and, above all, 
the perfect confidence of the servant so seductively convincing, that 
not doubting of the accuracy of every thing, and placing all to the 
credit of his renowned name and the acuteness of his northern hunts- 
man, Mr. Jorrocks proceeded with the aid of a boot-jack to suck off 
his adhering boots, and divest himself of his well-soaked garments. 
The servant presently returned with a long-necked bottle of white 
brandy on a massive silver tray, accompanied with hot water, lemon, 
sugar, nutmeg, and a plate of biscuits. Seeing Mr. Jorrocks 
advancing rapidly to a state of nudity, he placed them on a table 
near the fire, and pointing to a bell beside the bed, observed that if 
Mr. Jorrocks would ring when he was ready, he would come and! 
conduct him to the drawing-room. The servant then withdrew. 

" Wonder if Pigg's killed the fox," observed Mr. Jorrocks to him- 
self, pouring out half a tumbler of brandy and filling the glass up 



OR, MR. JORROCKS'S BUNT. 193 

-with hot water. " Capital fun 'unting, to be sure," said he, sipping 
away ; " 'specially ven one gets into a good quarter like this," con- 
tinued he, jerking his head, " but desperation poor fun sleep in' on a 
common ! " and thereupon, after a few more preliminary sips, he 
drained off the tumbler. 

" May as well vet both eyes," observed he, as he felt the grateful 
influence of the brandy upon his nearly exhausted frame, saying 
which he poured himself out another half tumbler of brandy, and 
adding sugar and lemon, drank off a good part of it, and left the 
remainder till he got himself washed. 

" Werry considerate this," said he, — " werry considerate indeed/ 1 
he repeated, taking a large Turkey sponge out of the handle of a hip 
bath of warm water, shaded from the fire by a glass screen, inside of 
which upon a rail hung a row of baked towels. " Kettle too," said 
he, now attracted by its simmering, " may as well have a boil ; " so 
saying, he emptied the contents into the bath, and pulling off his wig, 
proceeded to wash and disport himself therein, using the sponge as if 
it was his own. In the midst of his ablutions the door opened, and 
through the glass screen he saw a servant in a dark coat and scarlet 
waistcoat enter, and hastily retire as he caught a glimpse of our white 
Hottentot-like hero squatting in the water. Out Mr. Jorrocks got 
and bolted the door, and hearing something going on in the passage, 
he listened for a moment and caught divers scraps of conversation, 
apparently between a servant and his master, such as " Why, you 
stupid fool, don't you know the room ? You certainly are the 
greatest ass ever man encumbered himself with." 

" Beg pardon, sir, I could have sworn that was the room." 

" Stuff and nonsense ! look along the passage ; the doors are all 
so much alike, no wonder a fool like you is puzzled ; " saying which 
the voices moved along, and Mr. Jorrocks heard knocking and 
opening of doors all along the gallery, until they gradually died 
,way in the distance. Our hero had just done with his bath, 
and finished his brandy and water, when the sound of returning foot- 
steps again drew his attention to his door, and an angry voice and a 
meek one sounded alternately through the panels. 

"Now what are you staring there about, you great idiot— keeping 
me shivering in my wet clothes. If this is the room, why don't you 
knock ? " 

" Please, sir, there's a gen'leman in." 

" How d'you know ? " 

" Saw him, sir." 

" Then it can't be my room." 

" Laid your clothes out in it howsomever, sir." 

" How do you know this is it ? " 

" 'Cause I tied this bit of straw round the 'andle of the door. 

" Then knock and ask the gentleman to let you in, and get my 
Uothes out again. You've put them into the wrong room, that's the 

Q2 



194 HAND LEY CROSS; 

long and short of the matter — stupid fool ! " The servant then 
ventured a very respectful double tap. 

" Who's there ? " roared Jorrocks, in a voice of thunder. 

" Beg pardon, sir, — but I think I've made a mistake, sir, with 
master's clothes, sir." 

" No you haven't ! " replied Mr. Jorrocks in the same sweet 
tone as before. 

" Oh, beg pardon, sir," rejoined the servant. 

"Now are you satisfied ? " roared the master in the Jorrockian 
strain. " Go along, you fool, and seek a servant." 



In a few minutes there was a renewed and increased noise outside, 
and Mr. Jorrocks now recognised the bland voice of his friend the 
groom of the chamber. 

" Beg pardon, sir," said he softly through the door, " but would 
you allow me to speak to you for a moment ? " 

" Certainly," replied Mr. Jorrocks, " talk through the door." 

" Please, sir, would you 'blige me with your name, sir ? " 

" Certainly ! Mr. Jorrocks, to be sure ! The M. F. H. ! Who else 
should it be?" 

" Oh, I fear, sir, there's a mistake, sir. This room, sir, was meant 
for Captain Widowfield, sir. Those are his clothes, sir." 

" The deuce ! " exclaimed Mr. Jorrocks, in disgust. " Didn't Pigg 
tell you I was a comin 1 ? " 

" It was the captain's servant I took for yours, sir." 

" Humph ! " grunted Mr. Jorrocks, " that won't do ; at all ewents, 
I can't part with the garments." 

" I will thank you, sir, to let my servant remove my clothes from 
my room," observed Captain Widowfield, in a slow, determined tone 
through the door. 

" My good frind," replied Mr. Jorrocks, altering his accents, " 'ow 
is it possible for me to part with the garments when I've nothin' 
o' my own but wot's as drippin' wet as though I'd been dragged 
through the basin of the Paddin'ton Canal ? reg'larly salivated in 
fact ! " 

" I have nothing to do with that, sir," exclaimed the captain, indig- 
uantly ; " I'm wet myself. Will you open the door, I say ? " 

"iVfl, IvonH" replied Mr. Jorrocks, " and that's the plain English 
of it ! " So saying, he swaggered back to the fire with the air of a 
man resisting an imposition. He then mixed himself a third tumbler 
of brandy and water. 

It may be well here to mention that the mansion in which Mr. 
Jorrocks so suddenly found himself was Onger Castle, where Michael 
Hardy, the founder of the hunt, found himself at the end of his long 
and successful run. The vicissitudes of many years had thrice changed 
<&e ownership of the castle since the day when the good ear] greeted 




MR. JORROCKS IN A DIFFICULTY. 



OR, MR. JORROGKS'S HUNT. 195 

our primitive sportsman on killing his fox before the castle windows, 
and the present possessor was nephew to that nobleman, who having 
that day attained his majority, was about to celebrate the event among 
a party of friends and neighbours. 

Having waited until half-past six to welcome Captain Widowfield, 
before dressing, his lordship at length concluded the storm had pre- 
sented his coming ; and the party, consisting of five or six and 
twenty, were in the act of retiring to their respective apartments to 
prepare for dinner, when Walker, the aforesaid groom of the chamber, 
came hurrying along, pale in the face from the parley in the passage, 
followed by the captain in a high state of exasperation, to announce 
the appearance of an uninvited guest. No sooner was the name 
u Jorrocks " announced, than a shout of triumph and a roar of laughter 
burst from all present ; and after learning the particulars of his arrival, 
which seemed to fill every one with ecstacies, (for during the long 
wait before dressing, they had talked over and abused all their absent 
friends,) his lordship begged the gallant captain to be pacified, and 
put up with a suit of his clothes for the evening. 

" It was no use being angry with old Jorrocks," he observed, 
" whom every body said was mad ; and he trusted the amusement he 
would afford the company would atone for the inconvenience he had 
subjected his good friend the captain to." 

The doctrine, though anything but satisfactory to a man burning 
for vengeance, seemed all the consolation the captain was likely to get, 
so, returning with Walker, he borrowed the roomiest suit of Lord 
Bramber's clothes, and while attiring himself in them, he considered 
how best he could have his revenge. 

Meanwhile our hero, having disposed of his third tumbler of stiff 
brandy and water, which contributed materially to the restoration of 
his usual equanimity, began to appropriate the clothes so conveniently 
laid out on the sofa. 

Captain Widowfield was a stout big fellow, as bulky as Jorrocks, 
and much taller, and being proud of his leg, was wont to adorn his 
lower man in shorts on high days and holidays ; so having drawn on 
a pair of fine open-ribbed black silk stockings, over the gauze ones, 
Mr. Jorrocks speedily found himself in a pair of shorts, which, by dint 
of tight girthing, b» managed to bring up to the middle of his calves. 
The captain's cravat was of black satin, the waistcoat a white one, 
articles, as Mr. Jorrocks observed, that could be reefed or let out to 
fit any one, and having plunged into the roomy recesses of a blue 
coat, with Conservative buttons, he surveyed the whole in the cheval 
glass, and pronounced them " werry good." He then exchanged the 
captain's lily and rose worked slippers for his patent leather pumps, 
and the brandy acting forcibly on an empty stomach, banished all 
diffidence, and made Jorrocks ring the bell, as though the house were 
his own. 



196 HAND LEY CBOSS ; 

" YouVe got me into a pretty scrape with the Earl," said Walker, 
entering the room, " I thought you were Captain Widowfield." 

"Did you ?" replied Mr. Jorrocks, placing himself before the fire 
with a coat-lap over each arm. — " You'll know better another time. — 
But tell me, what Hearl is it you are talkin' about ? " 

" The Earl of Bramber, to be sure," replied the servant. 

" What ! this is his shop, is it ? " inquired Jorrocks — " Onger 
Castle, in fact ? " 

" Yes ; I thought you had been one of the party when I showed you 
in here," replied Walker. 

" Oh, never mind," said Mr. Jorrocks, " where there's ceremony 
there's no frindship — I makes no doubt I shall be werry welcome — 
See ; there's five shillin's for you," giving him a dollar. " You mustn't 
let the captin in here though, mind. Now tell us, is there any grub 
to get ? " 

" Dinner will be served in a quarter of an hour," replied Walker. 

" Dinner ! " exclaimed Mr. Jorrocks, looking at his watch ; " ten 
minutes past seven, and not dined yet ; what will the world come to 
next ? Dead o' winter too ! " 

Walker then conducted him down stairs, and ushered him into a 
splendid drawing-room, brilliantly lighted up, whose countless mirrors 
reflected his jolly person a hundred-fold. The housemaids were just 
giving the finishing sweep to the grates, and the footmen lighting the 
candles and lamps, when our master entered ; so making up to a table 
all covered with pamphlets and papers, he drew an easy chair towards 
}t, and proceeded to make himself comfortable. 

Lord Bramber was the first to enter. He was a tall handsome young 
man, of delicate appearance and gentlemanly maimers. He wore 
mustachios, and was dressed in a black coat and trousers, with a white 
waistcoat. 

Seeing a stranger, he had no difficulty in settling who he was, so he 
advanced with a bow and extended hand to greet him. 

Mr. Jorrocks was up in an instant. 

" My Lord, ' necessitas non habet legs, 1 as that classical stableman, 
Mr. Pomponius Hego, would say — or, ' 'unger makes a man bold,' as 
I would say — I'm werry glad to see you," saying which he shook his 
lordship's hand severely. 

" Thank you," replied Lord Bramber, smiling at his guest's hospi- 
tality ; "thank you," repeated he—" hope you left Mrs. Jorrocks and 
your family well." 

" Thank'e," said Mr. Jorrocks, " thank'e, my lordship," as the exis- 
tence of his better-half was brought to his recollection ; " 'opes I 
eharn'fc find her as I left her." 

" How's that ? I hope she is not unwell ? " inquired his lordship 
with well -feigned anxiety. 

" Oh, no," replied Mr. Jorrocks, raising his eye-brows with a shrug 
of his shoulders ; a oh, no, only I left her in a werry bad humour, and 



OR, MR. JORROCKS'S HUNT. 197 

I 'opes I shall not find her in one when I gets back — haw, haw, haw, 
— he, he, he, — s'pose your 'at (hat) covers your family — wish mine did 
too ; for atwixt you and I and the wall, my lordship, women are 
werry weary warmints. I say, my lord, a gen'lernan should do nothin' 
but 'unt, — it's the sport of kings, the image of war, without its guilt, 
and only five-and- twenty per cent, of its danger. You've got a werry 
good shop here — capital shop, I may say," added he, surveying the 
rich orange silk furniture and gilding of the room. " "Wonder how 
long this room is ? Sixty feet, I dare say, if it's a hinch ; — let's see." 
So saying, Mr. Jorrocks, having set his back against the far wall, took 
a coat-lap over each arm, and thrusting his hands into Captain 
Widowfield's breeches pockets, proceeded to step the apartment. 
" One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten, eleven, twelve, 
thirteen, fourteen, fifteen, sixteen, when he was interrupted in his 
measurement by the opening of the door, and entrance of some of the 
guests. He was introduced to each in succession, including Captain 
Widowfield, a big, red-whiskered, pimply-faced, choleric-looking gen- 
tleman, to whom our worthy master tendered the hand of fellowship, 
in perfect ignorance of his being the person with whom he had held 
communion sweet through the door. 

Dinner was then announced. 

We suppose our readers will not care to have the names of the 
guests who sat down to the banquet, or yet the wines or viands that 
constituted the repast ; suffice it to say, that the company consisted 
chiefly of people in the neighbourhood, sprinkled with a few idle 
Honourables, who lend themselves out to garnish country-houses in 
the dull season, and the best French and English cookery furnished 
the repast. 

Despite the prevailing non-wineing fashion, every body, save Cap- 
tain Widowfield, drank wine with Mr. Jorrocks, and before the dessert 
appeared, the poor gentleman, what from the effects of brandy on an 
empty stomach before dinner, and wine on a full one during it, began 
to clip her Majesty's English very considerably. " Never were such 
'ounds as mine," he kept hiccupping, first into one neighbour's ear 
and then into another. " Never were such 'ounds, (hiccup) certainly 
— hurrah, I say, (hiccup) Jorrocks is the boy ! Forrard ! hark, 
forrard, away (hiccup). You must come and 'unt with me," hiccupped 
he to the gentleman on the left. " Beef and Onions on Wednesday, 
(hiccup) — Candid Pig — no, Mountain-Daisy, (hiccup) — Saturday 
— James Pigg is a real warmint (hiccup) — a trump, a real trump, 
(hiccup) and no mistake. Give me port, none o' your clarety 
wines." 

The Earl of Bramber's health, of course, was proposed in a bumper, 
with " all the honours." Mr. Jorrocks hooped and holloaed at the 
top of his voice — an exertion that put the finishing stroke to his per- 
formances, for on attempting to resume his seat he made a miscalcula- 
tion of distance, and fell with a heavy thump noon the floor. After 



198 HANDLEY CROSS; 

two or three rolls he was lifted into his chair, but speedily resuming 
his fTiace on the floor, Walker was summoned with two stout footmen 
to carry him to bed. 

Captain Widowfield followed to make sure of his clothes : the gap 
caused by Mr. Jorrocks's secession was speedily closed in, and the 
party resumed the convivialities of the evening. 

The room to which our master was transferred was the dressing- 
room, over a large swimming-bath, on the eastern side of the castle, 
and very cozily he was laid into a little French bed. Walker wound 
up his watch, Captain Widowfield walked off with his clothes, and 
our drunken hero was left alone in his glory. 

The events of the day, together with the quantity of brandy and 
wine he had drunk, and the fatigue consequent upon his exertions, 
combined to make Mr. Jorrocks feverish and restless, and he kept 
dreaming, and tossing, and turning, and tumbling about, without 
being able to settle to sleep. First, he fancied he was riding on the 
parapet of Waterloo Bridge with Arterxerxes, making what he would 
call a terrible fore-paw {faux pas), or stumble ; next, that he was be- 
nighted on the common, and getting devoured by shepherds' dogs ; 
then, that having bought up all the Barcelona nuts in the world, and 
written to the man in the moon to secure what were there, he saw them 
become a drug in the market, and the firm of Jorrocks and Co. figur- 
ing in the " Gazette." 

Next, he dreamt that he had got one of James Pigg's legs and one 
of his own — that on examination they both turned out to be left ones, 
and he could not get his boots on. Now, that he was half-famished, 
and chained to a wall in sight of a roast goose — anon that the Queen 
had sent to say she wanted to dance with him, and he couldn't find 
his pumps ; " No ! give him all the world, sir, he couldn't find his 
pumps." Now that the Prince wanted to look at Arterxerxes, and he 
couldn't find the ginger. u No: give him all the world, sir, he 
couldn't find the ginger ! " Then he got back to the chase, and in a 
paroxysm of rage, as he fancied himself kicking on his back in a wet 
ditch, with Benjamin running away with his horse, his dreams were 
interrupted by a heavy crack, dang, splash sort of sound, and in an 
instant he was under water. All was dark and still. His dreams, 
though frightful, had all vanished as he awoke, and after rising to 
the top he waited an instant to see if this would not do likewise ; but 
the sad realitv was too convincing, so he began bellowing, and roar- 
ing, and splashing about in a most resolute manner. 

" Hooi I hooil hooi! " spluttered he, with his eyes and mouth full 
of water. " 'elp ! 'elp ! 'elp ! } elp ! I'm a drownin', I'm a drownin' ! 
Mr. Jorrocks is a drownin' — oh, dear, oh, dear, will nobody come ? — 
Oh, vere am I ? vere am I ? Binjimin ! I say, Binjimin ! James 
Pigg ! James Pigg ! James Pigg ! Batsay ! Batsay ! Murder ! 
'elp ! murder ! 'elp ! " 

" What's happen'd ? what's happen'd ? what's happen'd ? Who's 




fc 



Vs 



OR, MR. JORROCKS' S HUNT. 19* 

there ? who's there ? Oh, dear ! oh, dear ! oh, dear ! " screamed 
half-a-dozen voices at once, rushing with candles into the gallery of 
the swimming bath 

" Vot's 'appened ? " replied Mr. Jorrocks, blobbing and striking out 
for hard life with his white cotton night-capped head half under 
water ; " Vy, I'm drownin'. — 'Elp ! 'elp ! 'elp ! I say ! Oh, vill 
nobody come to 'elp ? " 

" Throw out the rope ! throw out the rope !" cried half-a-dozen 
voices. 

" No ; get a boat," responded Mr. Jorrocks, thinking there was 
little choice between hanging and drowning. " Oh dear, I'm sinkin', 
I'm sinkin' ! " 

" Come to this side," cried one, " and I'll lend you a hand out ! " 
thereupon Mr. Jorrocks struck out with a last desperate effort, and 
dashed his head against the wall. 

They then pulled him out of the bath, and with great care and 
condolence put him to bed again. He was still rather drunk — at 
least, not quite sober ; for when pressed to exchange his wet shirt for 
a dry one, he hugged himself in it, exclaiming, " No, no ; they'D 
worry it I They'll worry it ! " 



CHAPTER XXII. 

ANOTHER BENIGHTED SPORTSMAN. 
" Heard the winds roar, and the big torrent burst." — Thomson. 

" Well, I can't stand it any longer, so it's no use trying," said 
Charley Stobbs to himself, turning his horse's head in the direction 
of a light he saw gleaming past a window on the left of the road. 

Having about got through his horse, and lost Pigg and the hounds, 
he had taken temporary refuge at a small public house, which he had 
imprudently left, in hopes of regaining Handley Cross that night. 

After much casting about in the dark, with the imperfect and 
contradictory directions usually obtained from peasants in remote 
parts, Charley's perseverance at length failed him, and he resolved to 
give in. 

The night was drear and dark — the wind howled and whistled 
with uncommon keenness — and the cutting hail drifted with the 
sharpness of needles against his face. Horse and rider were equally 
dispirited. 

Having formed his resolution, Charley was speedily at a white 
gate, whose sound and easy swing denoted an entrance of some 
pretension. 

A few seconds more, and he was under the lee of a large house. 
Having dismounted, and broken his shins against a scraper, he at 



200 HANDLEY GROSS; 

length discovered a bell-pull in the door-post, which, having sounded, 
the echoing notes from afar proclaimed the size and importance of 
the mansion. 

All was still, save the wild wind, which swept over the lawn, dash- 
ing a few straggling leaves about with uncommon fury. Charley 
stood dripping and shivering, with his horse in his hand, but no one 
came — all was still within. Another pull sounded through the house, 
and a third succeeded that. At length, in a partial lull, a soft 
female voice was heard though the door, inquiring, "Who was 
there ? " 

" Me ! " exclaimed Charley ; " Mr. Stobbs ! — a benighted fox* 
hunter — been out with Mr. Jorrocks's hounds." 

" Master's gone to bed," replied the servant, drawing the bolts and 
chain as she spoke ; and just as she began to open the door, a sudden 
gust of wind extinguished her candle. 

" I'll run for a lantern," exclaimed she, shutting-to the door, 
leaving Charley stamping and thumping himself with his hands. 
Presently she returned with a dark lantern, with the slide up, which 
threw a light over the horseman without discovering the holder. 

The sight of a red coat banishing fear, she closed the door after her 
and informed Charley that master was gone to bed, and the butler too, 
but she would show him the stable, and get a man to take charge of 
the horse. The Yorkshire nag seemed to understand the arrangement, 
for he immediately gave himself a hearty shake, as if to say that his 
labours were done at last. 

The maid led the way, and on they went to the stable. It formed 
the wing of the house, and a groom, sleeping above, being roused 
from his bed, came with the alacrity usually displayed by servants in 
the service of a red coat. 

Indeed, as Mr. Jorrocks says, there's no colour like scarlet. In it, 
a man winks at the women, rings at your bell, orders your brandy 
rides through your garden, and all in the style of doing you a favour. 
The half-dressed groom would whole-dress the horse, and get him 
some gruel, and clothe him well up, and litter him well down ; and 
as he hissed, and pulled at the horse's ears, he paused every now and 
then and grinned with delight at Charley's account of the sport. 

"A', it must have been a grand run ! exclaimed he ; r and where 
did you kill him ? " 

" Don't know that," replied Charles ; " we got upon the Downs, 
when it became actually racing — the fox going in the teeth of the 
wind, and no one with the hounds but the huntsman, and a farmer 
who cut in during the run. I got into a bog, and the hounds ran 
clean out of sight before I recovered my horse, and night came on 
without my even being able to hear or see anything more of them." 

" Dear ! " exclaimed the groom, "you don't say so — that was a bad 
job ; and was Squire Jorrocks not up ? " thereupon the groom dived 
elbow-deep into the gruel-pail, and, lifting it up, the horse quaffed off 



OR, MR. JORROCKS'S HUNT. 20] 

the contents like a basin of soup. Blankets and bandages came warn 
from the saddle-room fire, and having seen his horse well done by, 
and told the groom all he could about the run, Charley again sought 
the shelter of the house. 

The little maiden had returned there after providing the gruel, and 
was ready to open the door as she heard Charley's approach. " She 
would show him into the parlour," she said, "where there was a good 
fire ; " and forthwith led the way up a long passage, with a couple of 
steps in the centre. The parlour was evidently the master's room — 
the sanctum sanctorum — a small snuggery, with book-shelves on two 
sides — guns, swords, game-bags, powder-tryers, fishing-rods, &c, on 
the third — and a red-curtained window on the fourth ; a round table, 
with the fragments of dessert, an empty and a half -empty decanter 
stood before the fire, while a well-used red morocco easy-chair stood 
on one side of the table. 

" A bachelor," said Charley to himself, glancing at the table and 
chair, and then at the pretty maid whose cork-screw curls dangled 
down her healthy cheeks, despite the unruly elements to which they 
had just been exposed ; " clear case that, I think," said he, eyeing 
the fit of her nicely done-up blue cotton gown, and well-turned ankles, 
with broadish sandalled shoes ; " no missis would keep such a pretty 
blue-eyed maid as that," said he to himself. 

" Would you like to take anything, sir ? " inquired she, lighting 
the wax-candles, and casting a look of commiseration at Charley's wet 
breeches. 

" Nothing, thank you, my pretty dear, except — a kiss," giving her 
ruby lips a smack that sounded along the passage. 

"Hush! " exclaimed she, colouring up, in alarm, "Mrs, Thompson 
will hear." 

" And who's Mrs. Thompson ? " 

" The housekeeper, to be sure ; she's just gone to bed." 

" Well, if that's the case," replied Charles, " I think I should like 
a little sherry- and- water, or something," lifting up the half-emptied 
decanter, " if you could get some hot water and sugar ; or never mind 
the sugar, if Mrs. Thompson's got the keys." 

" Oh, I'll get you both," replied blue-eyes, tripping away. 

Charles now began to reconnoitre the apartment. Taking a light, 
he proceeded to examine the book-case. There was a curious 
mixture : — Burns's Justice and the Gentleman's Magazine ; Statutes 
at Large and Anderson's Agriculture ; the Tatler and Pope's 
Homer ; Don Quixote and the Old Sporting Magazine ; Seneca's 
Morals and Camden's Britannia ; Osbaldestone's British Sportsman ; 
Calamy's Sermons and Adam's Essays ; Walker's Pronouncing 
Dictionary and Sidney's Arcadia ; Dacier's Plutarch and White's 
Farriery. 

"Sporting parson, perhaps," thought Charles to himself. "No, 
that can't be," continued he; "no bachelor parsons — at l*-st, not 



202 HAND LEY CROSS; 

with such houses as this. Some young man just come to his fortune, 
most likely, and hasn't had time to pick up a wife yet. No, that 
won't do ; a young 'un wouldn't be in bed so soon as this." Blue- 
eyes interrupted the speculation by appearing with a tray containing 
a nice plate of ham-sandwiches, hot water, sugar, lemon, nutmeg, &c. 

" You're a darling ! " exclaimed Charley, squeezing her hand as 
she placed them on the table : " By Jove, there's no work done with 
that" said he to himself, as she ran out of the room ; " soft as a 
mowdy-warp ! " 

Charley took the red morocco chair, and mixing himself some 
negus, recommenced his speculation on the probable station of his 
host. The books and the blue-eyes, and the guns and the soft hand 
confused him : and the more he thought, the nearer he was falling 
asleep — and the farther from arriving at a conclusion. 

" Master's gone to bed," muttered Charley, recollecting the little 
maid's first observation. " No mistress, that's clear ; " and there- 
upon he drained off his tumbler, and filled up another. " Curious 
assortment of things he has in his room," thought Charley, looking 
about him. " I don't see a hunting-whip ; " and having satisfied 
himself on that point, without moving from his chair, he commenced 
a vigorous attack on the ham-sandwiches. 



" Shall I show you to bed ? " inquired the little maid, peeping in 
at the door just as Charley was dropping asleep. 

*' If you please, my dear ! " replied he, starting up, rubbing his 
eyes, and draining off the tumbler of sherry-and-water that had been 
cooling at his elbow. 

The maiden lighted a bed-candle, and proceeded to lead the way 
up a wide, black oak stair-case, whose massive, shining banisters 
were ornamented with carved birds, monkeys, guinea-pigs, and other 
specimens of zoology, at the turns of the frequent landings. The 
wind had lulled, and the heavy ticking of a large black-faced time- 
piece with gilt figures was all that disturbed the monotony of night. 

Lightly following his fairy guide, an involuntary hope came over 
Charley that he might not make the acquaintance of his host through 
the medium of a horse-pistol cocking at him through one of the 
black doors as they passed. Turning from the wide passage, up a 
narrower one on the left, a gleam of light, through a partially closed 
door, showed the termination of his travels, and throwing it open, a 
large poker in a downward slant, evinced the activity of the little 
maid, who had lighted the fire, got the room ready, and all the little 
arrangements made, while Charles was busy with his negus and 
speculations. 

We need scarcely say that the room was not that bugbear to 
humble minds — the best one in the house, up whose lofty beds short- 
legged men swarm, as though they were climbing a tree, but it was 



OE, ME. JOBEOCKS'S HUNT. 203 

jne of those betwixt-and-between sort of apartments, that, like the 
pony in a stable, conies in for most of the work. The bed was ex- 
ceedingly low, scarcely two feet from the ground, and stood in the 
centre of the room, with the head against the wall and the feet 
towards the fire. The curtains were of thick but faded orange 
damask, and the counterpane was patchwork of many colours. 




" YOU'RE A CABLING," EXCLAIMED CHARLEY. 

Round the bed was a slip of black and red carpeting ; another piece 
lay before a dressing-table, on which was a curious old black and 
gilt Chinese-patterned looking-glass, with many drawers, and the 
thoughtful little maiden had placed another piece of carpeting under 
the foot-path before the fire. The rest of the floor was bare, and 
there was a large black oak press in the corner, with richly carved 
festoons above the drawers, and coats of arms emblazoned on the 
panels. 



204 EANDLEY CBOSS ; 

" Shall I take your coat down to dry?" inquired the little maiden, 
slipping the poker out of the fire. 

" If you please," replied Charles ; " but first you must help me out 
of it." Whereupon she put down the poker, and taking hold of the 
cuff, Charles drew himself out of the adhering garment. "Now," said 
he, giving her the wet scarlet and a kiss at the same time, which pro- 
duced a corresponding effusion in her cheeks ; " how shall I know 
about getting up in the morning ? " 

" Oh, Aaron will call you ! " replied the little maid, seizing the 
poker and tripping away. 

" Aaron will call me ! " repeated Charley, returning from chasing 
her to a green baized door at the end of the passage. " Aaron will 
call me ! — what a queer name for a servant ! — Wonder what the 
master is ? Aaron ! — 'Gad he must be a priest, and Aaron is his 
clerk and valet-de-chambre. No, that can't be either, for here's a 
boot-jack, a thing one never meets with in a parson's house ; and, as 
I live ! no end of sporting pictures," added he, holding his candle to 
the wall. 

Sure enough, there were Loraine Smith's famous pictures of the 
Quorn Hunt, the progenitor of the now innumerable race of sporting 
prints ; " Bagging the Fox ; " " The Rendezvous of the Smoking 
Hunt at Braunstone," in which gentlemen appear with great meer- 
sohaums in their mouths ; " The Loss of the Chaplain," exhibiting 
a reverend gentleman somewhat in Mr. Jorrocks's predicament — in 
danger of drowning, if he were not in equal danger of hanging ; "The 
Meeting at Grooby Pool;" "The Victory of Obtaining the Brush," 
&c. ; all stretched on canvas, with broad gilt borders, and ranged 
round the room. Above the fire-place was a portrait of an old 
gentleman in a cocked hat, a gold-laced blue coat, with a snuff-box 
in one hand, and the other resting on the head of a greyhound, 
whose master seemed to look upon Charley, as he sat up to his knees 
in hot water, in anything but a patronising way. 

"Should this be my host, or even my host's father or grandfather," 

thought Charley to himself, " perhaps he may not be over glad to see 

me ; however," added he, "'enough for the day is the evil thereof ;'" 

so, exchanging his damp shirt for a nice well-aired cotton one, with 

the initials J. W. F., on one side, and rejecting both a double and 

single nightcap, laid out for his choice, he put out his candle, and 

turned into bed. 

******* 

Sound and healthy were his slumbers ; — day dawned without his 
waking, and neither the darting rays of a dazzling sun, brightening 
the moreen curtains through the chinks of the shutters, nor the noisy 
tick of the passage clock, had any influence on his sleep. 

At length he started up, as a sledge-hammer sort of thump sounded 
on the door. 

" Come in ! " exclaimed he, involuntarily, the exertion of which 



OR, MR. JORROCKS'S HUNT. 205 

awoke him to a recollection of the past and a sense of his situation. 
" How deuced awkward ! " thought he to himself, looking at a great 
bell-tassel hanging above his head, and considering whether he should 
pull it or not, — 

" Thump ! " went the door again, and no mistake. 
" Come in ! " exclaimed Charley ; but still no one entered. "Must 
get up at all events," reasoned Charley ; — "must be eight, at least ;" 
looking at the rays of sunshine shooting into the room. Just as his 
hand grasped the bell-pull, — 

" Thump ! " went somebody at the door again. 
" Come in ! " roared Charles, for the third time, but still the door 
remained closed. Just as he was debating whether to ring the bell 
t>r compose himself for another nap, the door opened, and a slow, 
heavy foot paced steadily across the room to the window. Drawing 
aside the window-curtain, the heavy cross-bar swung lengthways in 
the shutter, which being folded exhibited the person of the intruder, 
He was an elderly, clumsily built, middle-sized man, with a brown 
scratch-wig, surmounting a square, thick-featured, unmeaning coun- 
tenance. A school-boy's turnip lantern would perhaps convey the 
best idea of the style of his much-tanned face and features. He was 
dressed in a snuff-coloured coat, loose buff waistcoat, puddingy- 
white neckcloth, drab kerseymere breeches ; and his swelling calves 
and enormously thick ankles were cased in white lamb's-wool stock- 
ings ; thick shoes, with leather strings, completed his costume. 
Having opened the shutters, he stumped to the foot of the bed, and 
placing himself right in the middle, thus delivered himself in good set 
Zummerzetzhire, — 

" Please, zur, meazter gittin oop." 

" Thank you, Aaron ! " exclaimed Charles, never doubting his 
man. " Pray can you tell me what o'clock it is ? " 

" I'll zee, zur," replied Aaron, after a pause, stumping out of the 
room to consult the passage clock. 

" What a man it is ! " exclaimed Charley, burying his face in the 
pillow, as he roared with laughter at his unmeaning, cast-iron coun- 
tenance. What can his meazter be ! " Presently, creak, creak, 
creak, announced old heavy-heels returning. Placing himself in his 
old position, exactly at the centre of the bed, he thus delivered 
himself — 

" Pleaz, zur, it's nineteen minutes pazt eight. Will you pleaz, zur, 
to want any thing more, zur ?" at length inquired the stupid old man. 
" More ! " thought Charles, " why, I've got nothing as yet ; " 
wishing he had his female valet-de-chambre of the previous night 
back instead of old Aaron. " Yes, I should like some warm water 
for one thing, and my boots cleaned for another," looking at his 
mud-stained tops standing against a chair near the foot-bath. 
Razors, brushes, combs, sponges, and a host of etceteras, flitted 
across his mind, but considering the slowness of Aaron, and the state 



206 EANDLEY CROSS; 

of his raiment, Charles thought he had better do with as little as 
possible. Out, then, Old Aaron stumped, and Charles was left alone 
to his reflections. 

" Confounded awkward I " said he to himself, ruminating on his 
situation. " Suppose there's a mistress or young misses, what a 
figure I shall cut at a breakfast table ! Leathers like parchment, 
boots all dirt, neckcloth spoiled ; better start off, and take my chance 
on the road, or breakfast when I get home." Then the recollection 
of the previous night deranged his reasoning. The little snuggery, 
the solitary easy chair, the remnants of dessert instead of tea, and 
the little blue-eyed maid, all savoured of bachelorism ; so dismissing 
the lady consideration from his mind, he again applied himself to 
the question of what his host could be. Aaron and the blue-eyed 
maid were inconsistent. Such a pretty little girl, and such a very 
ugly old man — one so sharp, the other so slow — " and yet what a 
stupe I am," continued Charles ; " Aaron's just the sort of man to 
keep in the house with a pretty girl ; " and thereupon his host 
assumed the character of a fox-hunter, and Charles felt as if he knew 
him already. . 

"No, that won't do," continued Charles, demolishing the vision he 
had just conjured up ; " she wouldn't have blushed so if she'd been 
used to kissing ; " and thereupon his spirits fell below zero. Stump, 
stump, stump, creak, creak, creak, came old heavy-heels along the 
passage, disturbing Charles's reverie as well by his footsteps as his 
sledge-hammer thumps at the door. Thrice did he thump ere he 
would enter, and at length, when he did, having deposited a can of 
hot water on the wash-hand stand, he laid Charley's scarlet coat 
exactly in the centre of the table, and resuming his old position at 
the foot of the bed, cast his unmeaning eyes towards the pillows, and 
drawled out, — 

" Pleaz, zur, do you pleaz to want anything elze ? " 

" Nothing but my boots cleaned ! " exclaimed Charles, exhausted 
by his slowness, "though, perhaps," added he, as Aaron was stumping 
away, " you may as well make my compliments to your meazter, and 
say that a gentleman, who lost his way out with the hounds yester- 
day, wishes to pay his respects to him at breakfast — or rather (aside), 
to his breakfast." 

" Yeaz, zur," replied Aaron, trudging out. Up Charles jumped, 
and making for the window, surveyed the prospect outside. 

Immediately below the terrace was an ill-kept garden, divided by 
massive dipt yew-hedges, opening by antique white gates upon an 
undulating park, girded by a river. A few cows stood listlessly to 
the sun, and two or three mares and yearlings scratched themselves 
with the lower branches of the trees with which the park was plenti- 
fully studded. The tufty grass showed the land was not overstocked. 
Beyond the river a rich grazing vale stretched to distant hills, whose 
undulating outline closed the grey horizon. 



OB, MB. JO BROOKS'S HUNT. 207 

Having made his survey, Charles proceeded to dress. " Wish I hau 
little blue-eyes to get me what I want, thought he, pulling on a stained 
stocking, and looking at his shirt where the wet had soaked through 
his coat. Just then old Aaron was heard plodding back with his 
boots, which having placed at the door, he gave a kud thump, and 
asked if Charles wanted anything more. 

" Oh, no ! " replied Charles, opening the door, and taking in the 
dingy tops ; " but tell me, what did your master say to my 
message ? " 

" He said varra well," replied Aaron, stroking his hand over his 
wig. 

" He said varra well," repeated Charles, shutting the door in dis- 
gust ; " what an inhospitable answer — fear he's no fox-hunter — 
would have been up with shaving-pot and razors before this ; how- 
ever, never mind, I'll soon be back to old J. and Belinda." So 
saying, he began handling his leathers ; they were tolerably dry, 
except at the knees, but were desperately the worse for wear — large 
mud-stains disfigured their creamy colour, and there was a great 
black patch down one side, where he had rolled in the bog. How- 
ever, he coaxed himself into them, and pulling on his boots, he made 
the best he could of his damaged blue neckcloth, while his cord 
waistcoat and red coat felt grateful for their acquaintance with the 
fire. 

He was now ready for a start ; and, the passage-clock striking 
nine, in an Aaron-like pace Charles made for the sound, and soon 
got into the gallery he had traversed overnight. Descending the 
zoological staircase, he found his friend Aaron standing with his ear 
at a door, listening, like a terrier at a rat-hole ; Charley would fain 
have had a word with him, but Aaron gave him no time for inquiry, 
by opening the door, and discovering the top of a well-powdered head e 
with a pig-tail cocking above the red morocco chair. 

" The gentleman, sir," said Aaron, advancing to the back of the 
chair. 

Up jumped a little red-faced old gentleman, who, depositing a 
newspaper on the breakfast-table, made a profound Sir Charles 
Grandison salaam as he presented a Ml front to the enterer. 

He was dressed in a single-breasted high-collared blue coat, with 
large silver buttons, white cravat, with a black one over it, buff 
waistcoat, with flap-pockets, cut out over the hips, yellow leather 
breeches, and rose-coloured top-boots, buckling round his knees with 
broad leather boot-garters. 

Charley bowed his best in return, and thinking what a sorry figure 
his much-stained clothes must cut by the spotless ones before him, 
began muttering something about fox-hunting, boldness, benighted., 
hospitality, hungry — the little old gentleman jerking and bowing ah 
the time, and motioning him into a chair on the otter side of the 
round table. 

r2 



208 HANDLEY CROSS; 

Glad to hide his dilapidations under the table, Charley sidled to 
the seat, and tucking his napkin under his waistcoat, cast his eye 
round the apartment, and then began to reconnoitre the well-fur- 
nished breakfast-table. 

His host resumed his seat, and jerking out his short legs as though 
he were on horseback, fixed his little beady black eyes upon Charles, 
and opened a voluble battery with — " Charming sport fox-hunting ! 
— was a great sportsman myself ! — one of the fastest of the fast — 
long since now — days of old Sef. in fact — have often sat up in the 
saddle-room at Quorn playing cards till it was time to go to cover. 
Those were the days ! No such young men now — degenerate race, 
quite — horses, too, all good for nothing — bad and weedy — no welters 
— shall never see such horses or hunting again as we used then — real 
science of the thing exploded — all riding and racing — no such men 
as old Meynell — or Corbet, or Lambton, or any of your lasters. 
Swell masters ruin a country — go a burst, and are done — foxes now 
run short and bad — worse than hares — if it wasn't the grass the 
thing would be over. Pray make yourself at home. Take tea or 
coffee ? None of your flagon-of-ale and round-of-beef breakfasts 
now-a-days — slip-slop, wishy-washy, milk-and-water, effeminate stuff 
— spoil nerves — no such riders as there used to be. Cold fowl on the 
sideboard — Aaron will bring some hot sausages directly. Turf seems 
all rotten — saw O'Kelly's young Eclipse win the Derby in 1781 — 
horses were horses then — Eclipse — Florizel — Highflyer — Juniper — 
men that might be called sportsmen and gentlemen too — not your 
half-lord and half -leg. 

" There was Lord Abingdon," continued the old gentlemen, telling 
them off on his fingers — " Duke of Bolton — Sir Charles Bunbury — 
Mr. Bradyll — Lord Clermont — Mr. Jolliff — remember his bay horn, 
Foxhuntoribus by Fox-hunter, well. Then there was Lord Milsm- 
town— Mr. Pulteney — Mr. Panton — Duke of Queensbury — and a host 
whose names I forget. Ah ! those recollections make an old man of 
me. Well, never mind ! I've had my day, and the old 'uns must 
make way for the young ; " then, turning short upon Charley, who 
was glancing at the newspaper as it lay on the table, he said, with a 
jerk, " Allow me the privilege of inquiring the name of the gentleman 
I have the honour of addressing." 

This was a poser, and coming after such a string of high-sounding 
names, poor Charles's humble one would cut but a poor figure. It so 
happened, however, that he was just skimming by a sort of sidelong 
glance the monthly advertisement of the heavy triumvirate, wherein 
well-known " unknowns " make names for themselves much better 
than their own. There was " Shooting, by Ranger," and " Racing, 
by Rover," and " Fishing, by Flogger," and in larger letters, as if the 
great gun of the number, " A Trip to Trumpington, by Pompo- 
nius Ego." 

Charles had just got so far as this, when suddenly interrogated as 



OR, MR. JORROCKS'S HUNT. 



209 



described, when he unconsciously slipped out the words, " Pomponius 
Ego." 

" Pomponius Ego ! " exclaimed the little gentleman, jumping on to 
his short legs as though he were shot, extending his arms and starinr 
with astonishment, " I never was so out in my life ! " 

Charley. — " I beg pardon " 




MR. POMPONIUS EGO NARRATES. 



" No apologies, my dear sir," interrupted our host, resuming his 
seat with a thump that stotted his short legs off the carpet. "No 
apology ! no apology ! no apology ! We old men are apt to 
fancy things, to fancy things, to fancy things — and I candidly 
confess I pictured Pomponius Ego quite a different sort of man to 
myself." 

Charles. — " But if you'll allow me to ex " 

"No explanations necessary, my dear Mr. Ego — Mr. Pomponius 



HO BANJDLEY tlttOSS ; 

Ego, I mean," jabbered the voluble little old gentleman. " Eat your 
muffin and sausages, and believe me you're heartily welcome ; I've 
lived long in the world — take some more coffee — there's tea if you 
like it, but I never was so out before. Lord ! if old Q.* could see 
*ne ! " continued he, clasping his hands, and casting his eyes up to 
the ceiling. 

Char ley. — " Well, but perhaps, sir, " 

" There's no perhaps 's in the matter, my dear sir — no perhaps in 
the matter ; I'll tell you candidly, I pictured Pomponius Ego a prosy 
old chap, who went the horse-in-the-mill round of his stories from 
sheer want of originality and inability to move from home in search 
of novelty. The only thing that ever staggered me was your con- 
stant assertion, that second horses were unknown in Leicestershire in 
Meynell's time. Never was a greater fallacy, saving your presence ! 
Always had a second horse out myself, though I only rode eight stun 
ten — never took soup for fear of getting fat — a host of others had 
second horses — Lambton and Lockley, and Lindow and Loraine 
Smith, and — But never mind ! don't assert that again, you know — 
don't assert that again. Now take another sausage," pushing the 
dish towards Charley in a friendly, forgiving sort of way, as if to 
atone for the uneasiness the correction had occasioned him. 

" But I never said anything of the sort ! " exclaimed Charley, 
reddening up, as soon as he could get a word in sideways. 

"Saving your presence, a dozen times," rejoined the little mer- 
curial old gentleman — " a dozen times at least ! " repeated he, most 
emphatically. " The fact is, my dear sir, I dare say you write so 
much, you forget what you say. We readers have better memories. 
I noted it particularly, for it was the only thing that ever shook my 
conviction of Pomponius Ego being a very old man.. But let that 
pass. Don't be discouraged. I like your writings, especially the 
first time over. Few stories bear constant telling ; but you've » 
wonderful knack at dressing them up. 

My father had a jolly knack at cooking up an almanack 
Yes, ho had a jolly knack, at cooking up an almanack. 

By the way, you once cooked up an almanack ! and a pretty hash it 
was, too ! " added the little old gentleman. " I'll tell you what," 
continued he, tucking his legs up in his chair, and grasping a knee 
with each hand ; " I'll tell you what — I'd like to match you against 
the gentleman that does the cunning advertisements of Rowland's 
Odonto or Pearl Dentifrice ; I'd lay " 

" Zounds, sir ! " interrupted Charles. 

" Hear me out ! " exclaimed the old gentleman, " Hear me out ! " 
repeated he, throwing an arm out on each side of the chair ; "I'd 
match you to lead one further on in an old story, without discovery, 

* The sporting Lord Queensbury used to be called old Q. 






OR, MR. JORROCKS'S HUNT. 



211 



than Rowland's man does with his puffs of paste, or whatever his 
stuff is." 

" But you are on the wrong scent altogether," roared Charles ; 
" I've nothing to do with Pomponius Ego or Pearl Dentifrice either." 

" Blastation ! " screamed the little old gentleman, jumping up 
frantically into his chair, with a coffee-cup in one hand and a saucer 
in the other ; " Blastation ! tell me that, when it's written in every 
feature of your face ! " So saying, he sent the cup through the 
window, and clapped the saucer on his head. 

" Come and feed the chuck cocks — pretty chuck cocks," said 
Aaron, stumping in at the sound of the crash ; " Come and feed the 
chuck cocks — pretty chuck cocks," repeated he soothingly, taking his 
master down by the arm, and leading him quietly out of the room, 
observing to Stobbs as they went, " It's your red coat that's raisin' 
him." 



ARS PIGG. 



CHAPTER XXIII. 

'Bout Lonnun, then, divent ye make sic a rout, 

There's nowse there maw winkers to dazzle : 
For a' the fine things ye are gobbin about, 

We can marra in canny Newcassel." — Pigg's Poems. 

AN ye let us lie i' yere barn, please, canny 
man ? " inquired Pigg of a farmer, at 
whose door he knocked a long time on 
the night of this memorable run, before 
he got him to answer. " Ar's drippin' 
wet, huss is tired, and hunds can't 
travel." 

" Who are ye ? " inquired the farmer, 
unused to visitors at any time, more 
particularly after nightfall. 

"Ar's Pigg, Squire Jorrocks's hunts- 
man," replied James; "we've had a 
desperate run, and canna get hyem te 
neet." 

" S-o-o-o ! " replied the farmer in asto- 
nishment. " Here, Mary ! " holloaing 
to his wife ; " fetch a light, here be the 
hounds. And hev ye killed him ? " 
inquired the farmer, looking closer at his visitor. 

" Aye, killed him, aye. Ar's gettin' his head i' my pocket — if ye 
can put your hand in you may get it — ar's see numb ar can de nout. v 




212 SANDLEY CROSS; 

" Sure- lie he's a big un ! " exclaimed the farmer, pulling out the 
head, and weighing it by the ears ; " Well, I think ! — but come, let's 
get ye put up — it's a tarrible night ; not one for standin' out at 
doors. Here ! fetch the lantern, Jane, and help me to put the beast 
away, so as to make room for the gen'leman's horse ; " adding to 
Pigg, " you are surely very wet." 

Pigg. — " Wet, aye ! wet as muck. Ar wish ar may ha' getten all 
my hunds away though. If ye can let us have some clean stree i' the 
barn, wor ard maister 'ill pay ye liberal for 't i' the mornin' — he's 
quite the gent." 

" A I never mind about the pay, we will do what we can for you," 
replied the farmer. So saying he led the way with the lantern, and 
the jaded horse and tired hounds followed on with Pigg. 

The farmer's lads took the horse, while Pigg looked over his 
hounds, and finding only a couple and a half wanting, he shook them 
down plenty of straw, and returned to the house to see what he could 
get to feed them on. A tub full of milk, with brown loaves sliced 
into it, was quickly prepared, but there was little demand for it, the 
majority of the hounds seeming to prefer a continuance of the rest 
into which they were quietly subsiding to being disturbed for a meal. 
At length they had all been coaxed to the pail, and after a hearty 
shake each nestled into his neighbour, and the pack were soon in a 
very small compass. 

Having seen his horse done up also, Pigg began to turn his 
attention to himself. 

" Sink, but it's wet," said he, giving his cap a dash towards the 
floor, which sent a shower bath on to the flags ; " however, ar's lucky 
in gettin' housed at all ; for ar really thou'ht ar'd ha had to lie out 
like them poor divils at Chobham ; " saying which he followed the 
farmer into an apartment, in which sat his wife and daughters, round 
a fire composed of a little coal and a good deal of rubbish- wood. 

" Ar think ar'll gan into the kitchen," observed Pigg, looking at 
the fire. 

" This be the kitchen," replied the farmer's wife, setting him a 
chair by the fire, thinking he was shy. 

Pigg sat down, and after contemplating the fire a few seconds, 
he exclaimed, " Ods wons ! but ye keep varry bad fires i' this 
country." 

" Nay, man," replied Mr. Butterfield, his host, " we call that a 
varra good one." 

" Ar doesn't ken what a bad un '11 be like, then," rejoined James. 

"Well," said Butterfield, throwing on another fagot, "you are 
w elcome to it, such as it is. What will you have to eat ? " 

" Ought ye can give me," said Pigg ; " a rasher o' bacon, coll ops 
and eggs, or ought," casting his eye up at the flitches and hams 
hanging from the ceiling, adding, " ar's mortal hungry." 

While the rashers of bacon were frying, Butterfield made Pigg 



OR, MR. JORROCKS'S HUNT. 213 

exchange his wet coat, waistcoat, and shirt, for dry clothes of his own, 
and adding a cold pork-pie and a flagon of ale to the hot bacon, Pigg 
was very soon in his glory. Having at length cleared the decks, he 
again turned to the fire, which, eyeing for some time with critical 
amazement, he at length exclaimed, with a laugh, "Sink, if mar 
cousin Deavilboger see'd sick a fire i' his kitchen, ar wonder what 
he'd say ! " 

" You'll keep good fires in your country, then, I presume ? " 
inquired Mrs. Butterfield. 

"Aye, fires, aye !" exclaimed Pigg ; "nebody kens what a fire is 
but them as has been i' wor country." 

" Whereabouts is it ? " inquired Butterfield, puzzled with his 
dialect. 

Pigg. — "A canny Newcassel, where all the coals come frae. 
You've niver been there, ar's warn'd, or you'd have heard tell o' mar 
coosin Deavilboger — farms a hundred and nine acres of land aside 
Kenton. Sink it, frae his loupin on stane ar's seen all the country 
side flaring wi' pit loues. Mar cousin's kitchen fire niver gans out 
frae Kirsmas to Kirsmas. A ! it is a bonny country ! By my soule, 
ar's niver been reetly warmed sin ar left the North." 

" Indeed ! " exclaimed Mrs. Butterfield, in astonishment ; " your 
cousin must spend a fortin i' firm'." 

" Deil a bit — coals cost nout — if they did, folks wad warm theirsels 
at the pit heaps. Iv'ry poor man has his shed full o' coals ; great 
blazin' fires to come hyem te at night, a nice singin' hinnies, all ready 
for slicin' and butterin', swingin' o' the girdle — but ye dinna ken 
what a girdle is i' this country, ar's warn'd." 

"No," replied Mrs. Butterfield ; "we don't." 

" Why, ye see," said James, " it's a great round, flat iron broad 
like, may be, three times as big as your hat-crown, with a hoop over 
the top to hank it on tiv a crook i' the chimley ; and then the missis 
makes a thing like a spice loaf, which she rolls out flat with a rollin'- 
pin, till it's the size o' the girdle, and about as thick as yeer finger, 
and then she bakes it on the girdle, and splets it up, and butters it 
see that the grease runs right down your gob as ye eat it." 

" Nay, then I " exclaimed Mrs. Butterfield, " but that will only be 
for gentle folk ? " 

Pigg. — "Iv'ry man i' the country has a singin' hinnie of a 
Saturday night, and many of a Sunday, tee. There wasn't a man on 
mar cousin Deavilboger's farm but has his fifteen and sixteen shillin* 
a-week, and some up to twenty." 

" Wonderful ! " exclaimed Mr. Butterfield, who only paid his eight, 
" It must be a grand country to live in." 

" A, it's a grand country ! " repeated Pigg. " Ar's sure ar's never 
been rightly warm sin' I left it. What they call a fire i' the South, 
is nabbut what we wad tak to light one on with i' the North ; " 
rubbing his wet cords as he spoke. " A, it's a bonny country ! — 



214 HAND LEY CROSS; 

bonny Shiney Raws all about the pits. Ivery man with his pig 
and his gairden ; sweetbriar i' the middle, and poseys round 
about." 

" You must have a drop of gin, and see if that will warm you," 
rejoined Mr. Butterfield, unlocking a cupboard as he spoke. " Here, 
Mary, get some glasses, and put the kettle on, and let us have a 
cheerer to the gentleman's health. It's not every night that brings 
us a visitor." 

A large black bottle of Hollands, labelled " Eye Water," part of a 
contraband cargo, was fearlessly placed on the table. More wood and 
coal were added to the fire ; the wood crackled merrily up the chimney, 
shedding a cheerful blaze over the family group circled about. One 
seat of honour was ceded to Pigg, the other was occupied by Mrs. 
Butterfield, while her two daughters came in between her and their 
father, who sat in the centre, and the servant lads kept a little in the 
rear of their master on the left. The servant girl bustled about in 
the background. 

" Help yourself, now," said Mr. Butterfield, passing the bottle and 
tumbler to Pigg, having poured himself and his wife each out a glass. 
" Don't be afraid of it ; you're heartily welcome, and there's more 
in the cupboard when you've finished that. Here's your good health ! 
I'm fond of fox-hunters." 

" Thank ye," replied Pigg, filling his glass half full of gin, and 
topping it with hot water. " Ar wish the country was made o' sich 
chaps as ye ; we shouldn't hear se much ' war wheat ' then, ar's 
warn'd ye." 

Mr. Butterfield did not catch the latter part of the sentence, or he 
would have read him a lecture on riding over wheat. 

A second half tumbler succeeded the first, and Pigg waxed 
ancommonly jovial ; his eyes twinkled, and his tongue ran riot with 
all manner of stories, chiefly about hunting, the importance of his 
cousin Deavilboger, and the magnificence of the town of Newcassel 
" Mr. Jorrocks was nothing but a good un. If it wasn't for him, he'd 
never stop i' the South." At the third half tumbler, Deavilboger's 
farm had grown into nine hundred acres, and Newcassel was bigger 
than London. 

" God sink ar'll sing ye a sang," said he, turning the quid in his 
mouth. " A ! one o' the bonniest sangs that iver was sung — all about 
a dog o' wor toon, and when ar stamps wi' my foot, ye mun all join 
chorus. Now ar'll begin : — 

" In a town near Newcassel, a pitman did dwell, 
Wiv his wife named Peg, a tom-cat, and himsel ; 
A dog called Cappy, he doated upon, 
Because he was left by his great uncle Tom. 

Weel bred Cappy, famous au'd Cappy 
Oappy's the dog, Talliho, Talliho i " 



OR, MR. JORROCKS'S HUNT. 216 

" Now, that last's chorus," observed Pigg, wiping the tobacco 
stream from his mouth with his sleeve. 

" His tail pitcher-handled, his colour jet black ; 
Just a foot and a half was the length of his back ; 
His legs seven inches frer shoulders to paws, 
And his lugs like twe dockins, hung owre his jaws." 

Hereupon Pigg gave a mighty stamp, and the company jotied in 
with — 

" Weel bred Cappy, famous au'd Cappy, 
Cappy's the dog, Talliho, Talliho 1 

" For huntin' of varmin reet clever was he, 
And the house frer a' robbers his bark wad keep free. 
Could baith fetch and carry ; could sit on a stool, 
Or, when frisky, wad hunt water-rats in a pool. 
Weel bred Cappy, &c. 

" As Kalphy to market one morn did repair, 
In his hatband a pipe, and weel combed was his hair, 
Ower his arm hung a basket — thus onwards he speela, 
And enter'd Newcassel wi' Cap at his heels. 
Weel bred Cappy, &c. 

" He hadn't got further than foot of the side,) 
Afore he fell in with the dog-killin' tribe ; 
When a highwayman fellow slipp'd round in a crack, 
And a thump o' the skull laid him flat on his back I 
Down went Cappy, &c. 

" Now Kalphy, extonish'd, Cape's fate did repine, 
Whilst its eyes like twe little pearl buttons did shine ; 
He then spat on his hands, in a fury he grew, 
Cries, ' 'Gad smash 1 but ar'l hev settisf action o' thou 
For knockin' down Cappy,' &c. 

M Then this grim-luiken fellow his bludgeon he raised, 
When Ralphy eyed Cappy, and then stood amazed ; 
But fearin' aside him he might be laid down, 
Threw him into the basket, and bang'd out o' town. 
Away went Cappy, &c. 

" He breethless gat hyem, and when liftin' the sneck, 
His wife exclaim'd, ' Ralphy ! thou's suin gettin' back ; ' 
' Getten back 1 ' replied Ralphy, c ar wish ar'd ne'er gyen 
In Newcassel, they're fellin' dogs, lasses, and men, 
They've knocked down Cappy, &c. 

" ' If aw gan to Newcassel, when comes wor pay week, 
Ar' liken him again by the patch on his cheek ; 
Or if ever he enters wor toon wiv his stick, 
We'll thump him about till he's black as au'd Nick. 
"For killin' au'd Cappy,' &c. 



216 BANBLEY CROSS; 

" Wlv tears in her een, Peggy heard his sad tale, 
And Kalph wiv confusion and terror grew pale ; 
While Cappy's transactions with grief they talk'd o'er, 
He creeps out o' the basket quite brisk on the floor ! 
Weel done, Cappy 1 " &c. 

Great applause followed, producing another song, " The Keel Row/' 
after which came another stiff tumbler of gin and water — then another 
song, or parts of a song rather — for the vocalist was fast becoming 
hors du combat ; — his face turned green — his eye gradually glazed, 
and at length his chin sunk on his breast ; but for the fortunate 
circumstance of the farmer's boy being on the look-out, his tumbler 
would have dropped to the ground. They then carried Mr. Pigg off 
to bed, but not being able to get off his boots, they happed him up as 
he was. 

The next morning when Farmer Butterfield came down-stairs, he 
found Pigg on his over-night seat, with his legs cocked over the back 
of a chair, with one of his boys blacking his boots. He had neither 
cold nor headache, and ate as much breakfast as if he had had no 
supper. His coat was dry, his waistcoat was dry, he was all dry 
together ; the sun shone brightly, the lost hounds had cast up, and 
taken shelter in an out-house, his horse was freshish, and the pack 
poured out of the barn bright and glossy in their coats, though some- 
what stiff in their limbs. 

****** 

" If evir ye come to Handley Cross, wor ard maister will be glad 
to thank ye and pay ye," said Pigg, grasping the farmer's hand as he 
mounted, " and if evir ye gan to canny Newcassel, cast your eye o'er 
mar coosin Deavilboger's farm — A ! what tormot's he has ! Aye, and 
see his grand pedigree bull — A ! what a bull he has ! " 

"You're heartily welcome," replied Farmer Butterfield, shaking 
Pigg by the hand, "and whenever you pass this way, give us a look 
in, there'll always be a drop of eye-water in the bottle ; stay, let's 
open the gate for you ; " running to the fold-yard from which Pigg 
emerged with the glad pack at his horse's heels. 

Mrs. Butterfield, her daughters and servants, were clustered at the 
door, to whom Pigg again returned thanks, and touching his cap, 
trotted down the lane on to the road, the brightness of the morning 
contrasting with the dark wildness of the hour in which he arrived. 
What a different place he had got to, to what he thought ! On Pigg 
jogged, now coaxing a weakly hound, now talking to his horse, an I 
now striking up the chorus of — 

" Cappy's the dog, Talliho ! Talliho 1 " 



" Your master's just gone through," said Anthony Smith at the 
Barrow Hill Gate. 



OR, MR. JORROCKS'S HUNT. 217 

" Mar maister," replied Pigg, " what Squire Jorrocks ? " 

" Yeas," said the man, " he was axing if I could tell him what 
become of his hounds yesterday." 

" Indeed," replied Pigg, " give me fourpence and a ticket." 

On Pigg trotted as well as he could with a pack of hounds without 
a whipper-in, and catching a view of Mr. Jorrocks's broad red back 
rounding a bend in the road, he gave a puff of his horn that acted 
like magic. 

Mr. Jorrocks stopped as though he were shot. 

Turning short back, he espied his huntsman and the hounds, and 
great was the joy and exultation at meeting. 

" Killed him did you say ? " exclaimed Mr. Jorrocks, in ecstasies, 
" vere's his orush ? " 

"A, sink 'em, they'd spoil'd it," replied Pigg, "afore iver I gat te 
them — but ar's getten his head i' my pocket ! " 

" Fatch it out/ 11 exclaimed Mr. Jorrocks, " vy, man, you should 
ride with it at your osses' side. Have you never a couple loup to your 
saddle ? — run a bit of vipcord through his snout, and let the world 
see the wonders we've done — you've no proper pride about you ! 
There now," continued he, having adjusted the head at Pigg's 
saddle side, " let the world see it — don't let your coat lap hang over 
it." 

Thus Mr. Jorrocks and Pigg proceeded at a foot's pace, relating 
their mutual adventures. Before they had got to the end of their 
stories, who but Charles should pop upon them from a bye-road, and 
the three having got together again, they entered Handley Cross in 
triumphant procession, as though they had never parted. Eumours 
of the run had been rife all the morning, but in what direction it 
had been, nobody could tell. The stables and kennel were besieged 
by inquirers, and Mr. Fribbleton, the man-milliner, who edited the 
" Paul Pry," having been granted an audience, managed from Mr. 
Jorrocks's account to manufacture the following article for the second 
edition of his paper. It was headed — 

" Brilliant Run with Mr. Jorrocks's Hounds 1 

and proceeded — 

u As this unrivalled pack were taking their daily exercise on the 
Summerton Koad, accompanied by the huntsman, their worthy master, 
and his friend Mr. James Stobbs, a large dog-fox suddenly crossed 
before them, with which the pack went away in gallant style, despite 
all efforts to stop them, as they were advertised to meet at the Round- 
of-Beef and Carrots to-morrow. The place the fox so suddenly 
popped upon them was just at the four-mile-stone, near the junction 
on the Appledove road, and as there were some coursers on Arthington 
open fields, it is conjectured bold Reynard having been suddenly 
disturbed by the long dogs, had come upon the hounds in a somewhat 



218 HANDLEY CROSS; 

ruffled state of mind, without dreaming of his danger. However, he 
was quickly convinced that there was some, by the cry of his redoubt- 
able pursuers, and the shortness of his start caused him to put his 
best leg foremost ; and setting his head for Wollaton Plantations, ha 
went straight as an arrow towards them, passing near the main earths 
on Thoresby Moor, and going through the low end of the plantations, 
where they run out into a belt. 

" Here he was chased by a woodman's dog, and the hounds came to 
a momentary check ; but Mr. Jorrocks, being well up, made a scientific 
cast forward, and getting upon grass, they hit off the scent at a meuse, 
and went at a racing pace down to Crowland, through Lady Cross 
Park, leaving Bilson a little on the right, and so on to Langford 
Plantations, from thence by King's Gate to Hookem-Snivey, and on 
by Staunton- Snivey to the Downs, crossing at Depedean, leaving the 
Windmill to the right, arid the Smugglers' Cave on the left. Night 
and a hurricane now came on ; but, despite all impediments, this 
truly gallant pack realised their fox at the foot of Gunston Crags. A 
few more minutes would have thrown the mantle of protection over 
the varmint, for the crags are strongholds, from whence foxes are 
seldom or ever dislodged. It was the biggest Reynard that ever was 
seen, and the tag of his tail was uncommonly large. 

" The distance gone over could not have been less than five-and- 
twenty miles ; and altogether it was the very finest run ever encountered 
in the annals of fox-hunting. Mr. Jorrocks went like a bird, and 
earned a title to a niche among the crack riders of England. 

" The hounds lay out all night, but have arrived at Handley Cross 
in very fair order ; and we trust this run is a prelude to a long career 
of brilliant sport that we shall have the good fortune to record under 
the auspices of their most sporting master, and his equally renowned 
and energetic Scotch huntsman — Charles Pigg." 

Mr. Jorrocks wrote the following letter to Bill Bowker : — 

"Dear Bowker, 

" Tour's to hand, and note the contents. We've had a luster ! 
Three hours without a check and a kill ! Should have been ^appy to 
have sent old ' Nunauam Dormio ' * an account, tut it ivas a bye on 
the sly, and no one being out, there are no names to bring in. It's 
soapin' chaps cleverly ivot makes a run read. Howsomever, I hopes to 
have lots of clippers for him to record before long. Not that I cares 
about fame, but ifs ivell to let the 'ounds have the credit of what they 
do. You say Dormio will spice the articles up with learning and Latin. 
Latin be 'anged! — Greek too, if there's any grown now-a-days. Now 
for the run. 

" Ifs an old sayin\ and a true 'un, that a bad beginning often makes 

* An eye, with " nunquam dormio " round, ia the crest and motto of " BelT« 
Life." 




A BYE ON THE SLY.' 



OR, MR. JORROCKS'8 HUNT. 219 

4 good mdin\ We lost Binjamin at startin' ; the little beggar was 
caught in the splices of a po-chay, and carried a stage out of town — 
teach him to walk up street for futur' . Hoivsomever, off we set without 
him, and a tremenclious run ivas the result. I send you the * Pry] 
and you can judge for yourself; the first part, about the find, must bt 
taken ' cum grano salis,' with a lee tie Quicanne pepper, as Pomponius 
Ego would say. We meant to have a private rehearsal as it were, and 
got a five-act comedy instead of a three. Indeed, it were Wee to have 
been a tragedy. 

" Somehoiv or other I got to the Earl of Bramber's, where there was 
a great spread, and I had a good blow-out, and a solemnish drink. 
Either I walked in my sleep and fell into a pond or some one pitched 
me into one, and I was as near droivned as a toucher. Hoivsomever, 
I got out, and werry attentive people were to me, givin' me brandy, 
and whiskey, and negus, and all sorts of things. I slept pretty well 
after it, nevertheless ; but when I awoke to get up, I seemed to be in 
quite a different room — no bell, no looking-glass, no wash-hand, no 
towels, no nothirC, but my Anting clothes ivere laid nice and orderly. 
I dressed, and found my ivay to the breakfast-room, when sich a roar 
of laughter greeted my entrance! Still, they were all werry purlite ; 
but I observed, whenever a servant came in he nearly split his sides 
with laughin\ Well, jist as I was goin' away, I caught a sight of 
myself in a glass, and, oh, crikey ! my face was painted broad red and 
yelloiu stripes, zebra-fashion ! I couldn't be angry, for it was so werry 
well done; but it certainly was werry disrespectful to an M.F.H. 
Have no great fancy for lords — iverry apt to make first a towel, and 
then a dish-clout on one. But enough of that. 

" I hope the Slender has not been silly enough to shoot an excise-man ; 
they are clearly not game. It will be haukward for them both if he 
has : of course he has too many legal friends not to get the best advice. 
Vm sorry to hear about Susan's legs — they ivere a pair of uncommon 
neat ones, certai7ilie ; all the symmetry of Westris's, without the 
smallness. I don't think blisterin' would do them any good ; rest — 
rest — with occasional friction : hand-rubbin\ in fact, is the best 
thing. 

" Charley's quite ivell, and slept last night at a lunatic's, a poor chap 
wot went mad about 'unting. You needn't send him none of your nasty 
'baccy down here, for I don't stand smokin'. As you say Snarle's 
business has fallen off, you'll have fewer common forms to copy, and 
more time for letter-writing. Tip us a stave when you've nothin' to 
do, and believe me yours to serve, 

"John Jorrcoks. 
"P.S. 1. I enclose you hi. for the Slender. Tell him to buy a good 



220 HANDLEY GB08S ; 

hard-mouthed counsel ivith it. I fear Billy* s only a ' lusus natural or 
' loose 'un by natur\ i as Pomponius would say. J. J. 

44 P.S. 2. Tell Fortnum and Mason to send me a dozen pots of 
marmeylad ; also Qilbertson to send me three quartern loaves — two 
or own and a wite — every other day. Cartt gel sich bread as his 'ere, 
and neither Alum nor Branfoote subscribe a dump to the 'oimds, so its 
no use puzzonin" oneself on their account. Also see Painter, and tell 
him if his turtle's first chop, to send me six quarts, with a suitable 
quantity ofyunch. J. J." 



CHAPTER XXIV. 

COOKING UP A HUNT DINNER. 



Captain Doleful, ever anxious for the prosperity of the town 
and his own emolument, conceived that a hunt dinner on the night 
of his ball would have the effect of drawing divers rural parties to 
the town who might not otherwise honour him with their presence, 
and he lost no time in communicating the idea to the worthy master, 
Mr. Jorrocks. 

Of course the eclat it would confer on the hunt, and the brilliancy 
it would reflect on Mr. Jorrocks's mastership, were the main points 
Captain Doleful urged on behalf of his proposal ; and Mr. Jorrocks, 
nothing loth to indulge in a good dinner, at which he was to play 
first fiddle, readily came into the proposition, and the following notice 
was inserted in the " Paul Pry " : — 

" Mr. Jorrocks's Fox Hounds ! 

" There will be a Hunt Dinner, at the Dragon Hotel, on the night 
of the Master of the Ceremonies' Ball, at which Members of the 
Hunt and the public in general, are invited to attend. 

" Mr Jorrocks in the Chair ! 

" Tickets, twelve shillings each, to be had at the bar of the Dragon 
Hofr-i up to five o'clock on Monday evening, after which none can 
possibly be issued." 

Never was a happier device, or one more eminently successful. 
Not only did the visitors of the place hasten to secure tickets, but 
people from all the neighbouring towns showered in their orders by 
the post, and it soon became apparent that a bumper would be the 
result. The longest long room at the Dragon was soon declared 
inefficient for the accommodation of the party, and the masons and 
joiners were summoned to lay the adjoining bed-room to the end, 



OR, MR. JOB ROCKS' 3 HUNT. 221 

which would afterwards be restored to privacy by the usual means of 
folding-doors. Then came the joining and fitting of tables, the 
measuring of cloths, the borrowing of knives, forks, glasses, salt- 
cellers, decanters, and waiters. Captain Doleful flew about the town 
like a lost dog in search of its master. When Mr. Snu,bbins, the 
landlord of the Dragon, failed in accomplishing a loan, the Captain 
exerted his authority in compelling one. What with his ball and the 
dinner he scarcely had time for his meals. 

On the Monday, he bespoke an audience with Mr. Jorrocks to put 
the finishing stroke to his arrangements. He was duly received in 
the dining-room of Diana Villa, where pens, ink, and paper were 
laid for his coming. The dinner, he assured the worthy master, was 
calculated to make him eminent in the eyes of all men, and most 
materially to aid the financial department of the hunt. " There will 
be," said he, " a gathering from all quarters. Men from every point 
— sportsmen of every shade and grade are about to assemble, and 
if you can manage to tickle the fancy of each with a speech, so as to 
make him believe his favourite sport is the best, there is no saying but, 
in the happy mood that most men are in when pleased and half- 
drunk, you may draw a good many into becoming members or 
subscribing." 

" Well, there can be no difficulty whatsomever at all," replied Mr. 
Jorrocks, " in making them a werry 'andsome speech — beautiful 
speech, I may say, but in course they can't expect me to tell them 
that I consider any sport better than 'unting." 

" Why, as to that," rejoined Captain Doleful, "it makes little odds 
what a man says on an occasion of this sort, especially a chairman, 
whose first care should be to put every one in good humour with 
himself ; and if you were to outstep the real facts a little for once, 
no one would ever think of throwing it in your teeth on a future 
occasion. For instance now, Captain Couples, the great courser, has 
written for tickets for three, — himself, his son, and a friend, — in 
order that he may have the honour of making your acquaintance, 
and then of presenting his son in due form. Of course you will take 
an early opportunity during the evening of buttering him by in- 
troducing as a toast the beautiful sport of coursing, which you may 
say is one of the most classical and elegant of field-sports, and say 
that it is one which you feel a peculiar pleasure in proposing, 
inasmuch as you have been given to understand that one of the most 
distinguished patrons of the leash has honoured the Handley Cross 
Hunt dinner with his presence, which affords you an opportunity of 
coupling with the sport the name of the gallant Captain Couples, and 
of course the toast will be responded to with a heavy round of cheers, 
which will lay the Captain open to the insinuating applications of 
Mr. Fleeceall, and you may reckon him, if not his son also, a membej 
of your hunt for a year at all events, especially if you get him to pay 
the money down on the nail." 

s2 



222 HAND LEY CROSS; 

" Humph I " said Mr. Jorrocks, turning it over in his mind 

whether he could do such violence to his feelings as to praise the 
sport of coursing, or call it sport at all, for the sake of the three 
sovereigns he would get by Captain Couples becoming a member of 
the hunt. Nothing daunted, Captain Doleful proceeded with his 
enumeration and recommendations. "Mr. Trippitt, the famous 
cricketer, will most likely come. He was the founder of the Win- 
wicket Cricket Club, which beat all London at Lord's the year before 
last ; you should toast him and his club together, and of course you 
would string a lot of sentences together in praise of the game of 
cricket, which you are doubtless aware is most popular all over 
England. Then there is Mr. Eingmore, the quoit-player, and loads 
of people who keep some hobby or other for their private riding, who 
should all be toasted in turn." 

" Werry well," said Mr. Jorrocks, " werry well, there cannot be 
not never no objection whatsomever at all to sayin' somethin' 
pleasant and soapy of all the warious amusements, but it is werry 
difficult and inconwenient to have so many cut and dried speeches, 
as well as one's dinner aboard at the same time. If I could manage 
to couple two or three of them together, such as coursin', fishin', and 
fiddlin', for instance, it would suit my constitution better." 

" Oh no ! that would not do," replied Captain Doleful, " because 
one of the objects in singling out a sport or diversion to give as a 
toast is the circumstance of some patron or follower being at table, 
who will make a speech in reply ; but if you club two or three 
together, not only will you fail in getting any one to consider the 
toast as a compliment, but no one will rise to acknowledge it ; 
because, though he may be a keen follower of one branch of sport, 
he may care nothing about the thing you couple with it— You 
understand ? " 

"Then we must jest dot down wot we think should be given," 
observed Mr. Jorrocks, " and also wot I should say, for it is far more 
than probable, indeed I should say most likely, that in the heat and 
noise, and lush and flush, and one thing and another, I shall forget 
one half o' the toast, and possibly give the coursin' man to the 
fiddlin' feller, or the cricketer instead of the quoit -player." There- 
upon Mr. Jorrocks took pen, ink, and paper, and proceeded to draw 
out his list of toasts. 

" In course, ' the Queen, and her stag 'ounds,' will come first," 
observed he, writing the words at the head of a long slip of paper — 
adding, " bumper toast. Cheers." " Do you think there will be any 
staggerin' sinner there to acknowledge the toast ? " 

" Probably there will," replied the Captain, " at all events, if there 
isn't, I would say a few words in return, as it would not look well to 
let the toast pass without saying something on behalf of our young 
and virtuous queen. I can acknowledge it as Vice-president, and 
also as holding her Majesty's commission." 



OB, MR. JORROCKS'8 HUNT. 223 

"Well, then," said Mr. Jorrocks, "let's see what should come 
next ? Shouldn't it be the 'Andley-cross Fox-'ounds, and my werry 
good health ? " 

" No — that will be too soon. The Chairman's health should never 
be given until the company have had a few glasses of wine to elate 
them for shouting. Besides, your health will be the toast of the 
evening, and things always become flat after that is given, and 
perhaps the company will begin to disperse." 

"Werry well— any thing for a quiet life — what shall we put 
then ? " 

Captain Doleful — " Prince Albert, to be sure ! and his harriers." 

" With all my 'earfc," replied Mr. Jorrocks, placing the Prince's 
name after her Majesty's. 

" We must have the Prince of Whales next, in course," observed 
our master, " and all the rest of the Royal family," putting it down, 
and asking the captain what should follow. 

" Mr. Strider, the great racing man of these parts, will most likely 
come ; and if so, you should give the Turf," observed Captain 
Doleful. " Besides, he is a very likely man to become a member of 
the Hunt, if not to subscribe, now that there is a regular master, his 
only excuse for not doing so when the committee had the hounds 
being that he didn't like partnership concerns in any thing but race- 
horses." 

" The Turf, and Mr. Strider's good health ! " Mr. Jorrocks wrote 
down — adding the words — " improve breed of 'osses — promote sport 
— amuse lower orders — mount cavalry — lick the world," as the 
headings for his speech. 

" Come now, jog on," said Mr. Jorrocks, looking at the nib of his 
pen, " we've only got five toasts ready as yet : shouldn't we give 
Fox-'unting ? " 

" Oh, certainly," replied Captain Doleful ; " that is a general 
toast, and acceptable to all ; besides, Mr. Yarnley will be at the 
dinner," observed Captain Doleful. " He has two capital covers, 
and one capital speech, which he likes letting off. Write down ' Mr. 
Yarnley, and Promoters of Fox-hunting ! ' for he doesn't hunt 
himself, and only preserves foxes in order that he may have his 
health drunk at ordinaries and public dinners, when he tells the 
company how he has always preserved foxes, and does preserve foxes, 
and will preserve foxes, and so forth." 

Mr. Jorrocks then added Mr. Yarnley's name to the list of toasts, 
adding the words, "proprietors of covers and promoters of fox- 
'unting," and the following headings for a speech, " Considerate 
gentleman — free from selfishness — good example." "We should 
cheer this toast, I think," added Mr. Jorrocks, " 'specially as I s'pose 
the gemman takes no rent for his covers." 

"I believe not," replied Captain Doleful, upon which Mr. Jorrocka 
put the word " cheers " after " good example." 



224 HANDLEY CBOSS; 

"Now Coursing should come, I think," remarked Captain Doleful, 
"and Captain Couples's health. He's a great man at the Deptford 
meeting, and thinks coursing the only sport worth living for." 

" He must be a werry big blockhead, then," replied Mr. Jorrocks, 
laying down his pen, and stretching out his legs as though he were 
going to take "the rest." " A werry remarkable jackass, indeed, I 
should say. Now of all slow, starvation, great-coat, comforter, 
worsted-stockin', dirty-nose sort of amusement, that same melancholy 
coursin' is to me the most miserably contemptible. It's a satire on 
racin'." 

" Never mind," said Captain Doleful, " Couples's guineas will be as 
good as any other man's ; and, as I said before, a chairman is not 
expected to swear to all he says — your business is to endeavour to 
please every one, so that they may go home and tell their wives and 
daughters what a jolly, delightful, at-all-in-the-ring sort of gentleman 
Mr. Jorrocks is." 

" Aye, that's all werry good," grunted our master, " but conscience 
is conscience arter all, and coursin' is coursin'. It's as bad as 
drinkin' the 'Andley-Cross waters to have to praise what one doesn't 
like. I'll give the Merry 'Arriers afore Coursin', howsomever," said 
Mr. Jorrocks, putting down the words Hare-'unting ; " Will there be 
any currant-jelly boy to return thanks ? — I'm sure there will, indeed, 
for I never knew a mixed party yet without a master of muggers 
among them." 

To this toast Mr. Jorrocks added the words—" nose — fine music — 
pleasant — soup." " Now," said he, " we've got the Queen and the 
Staggers — Prince Halbert — Prince of Whales — Strider and the Turf 
— Fox-'unting — Yarnley and Proprietors of Covers — the Merry 
'Arriers." 

" Put ' Coursing ' next, then," said Doleful ; " it will follow hare- 
hunting very well, and be all in the soup line." 

" Well, if you must have it, you must," replied Mr. Jorrocks, 
writing down the word : "coursin'." " Who acknowledges the toast ? 
— ah, Couples — Captain, I think you said he is ? Captain Couples — 
a werry good man too — blow me tight though if I knows what to say 
in givin' on it." 

" Oh, say it's classical, and a fine bracing amusement." Mr. 
Jorrocks added the words " fine amusement." 

"Well, that's eight bumpers from the chair," observed Captain 
Doleful ; "and now we'll let you take your breath a little — unless 
Mr. Snapper comes, w 7 hen you must give pigeon- shooting and the 
triggers generally. I'll now toast the Chair." 

" The Chair," wrote Mr. Jorrocks, " that's me. Cheers in course." 

" In course," replied Captain Doleful, adding, " I shall butter you 
uncommon." 

" With all my 'eart — I can stand a wast of praise," replied Mr 
Jorrocks. 



OB, MR JOBBOCKS'S HUNT. 226 

" "Well, then, after that, and after your speech, which of course 
will be highly complimentary to the company, and full of promises of 
what you will do, you must propose my health — as Master of the 
Ceremonies of Handley Cross Spa." 

"And as a great sportsman ! " added Mr. Jorrocks. 

" No, no, I'd rather not," exclaimed Doleful in alarm ; " the fact 
is, I only hunt on the sly. If the Dowagers thought I did not devote 
my whole time and energies to the town amusements, they woald 
grumble, and say I was always out hunting instead of attending to 
the important duties of my post. No; just confine yourself to the 
M. 0. department, not forgetting to insinuate that it is my ball- 
night, and to express a hope that all the company will honour it with 
their presence ; you might say something, apparently half -facetiously, 
in the way of a hint about giving guineas for their tickets ; for some 
people are getting into the dirty trick of paying at the door." 

" Werry good," said Mr. Jorrocks, writing down " Capt. Doleful, 
M. C, not sportsman — pleasant feller — nice ball — pumps in pockets- 
tickets at bar — guinea." " You'll be ' cheer'd,' I s'pose ? " 

" Of course," said the Captain — " all the honours — one cheer more 
if you can get it." 

Cricketing, quoit-playing, shooting, badger-baiting, steeple-chasing, 
hurdle-racing, crow-shooting, and divers other sporting, extraordinary, 
and extravagant toasts were then added ; some to fit people that were 
known to be coming, others put down to take the chance of any 
amateur of the amusement presenting himself unexpectedly at the 
table. 

"Werry well now," said Mr. Jorrocks at last, dotting up the 
column of toasts with his pen, " that's two, four, six, seven, eight, 
ten, twelve, fourteen, sixteen. Sixteen bumper toasts, with speeches 
both goin' and returnin', to say nothin' of shoutin', which always tells 
on weak 'eads. Wot shall we say next ? " 

" Oh ! " said Captain Doleful, in an indifferent sort of way, as 
much as to say the important business of the evening would be 
finished on drinking his health ; "why just pass the bottle a few 
times, or if you see a gentleman with a singing face, call on him for 
a song ; or address your neighbour right or left, and say you'll 
trouble him to give a gentleman and his hounds." 

"A gen'lman and his 'ounds," said Mr. Jorrocks, "but they'll 
have had a gen'leman and his 'ounds when they've had me." 

" Ah, but that's nothing — ' a gentleman and his hounds,' is a fine 
serviceable toast at a hunt-dinner. I've known a gentleman and his 
hounds — a gentleman and his hounds — a gentleman and his hounds 
— serve chairman, vice-chairman, and company throughout the live- 
long evening, without the slightest assistance from any other source. 
Fox-hunters are easily pleased, if you do but give them plenty to 
drink. Let me, however, entreat of you, above all things, to 
remember my ball, and do not let them oversit the thing, so as not 



226 



MANDLEY GROSS; 



to get to it. Remember, too, it's a fancy one, and they'll take more 
dressing." 

" Aye, aye, I'll vip them off to you when I think they've had 
enough," replied Mr. Jorrocks. 



CHAPTER XXV. 

SERVING UP A HUNT DINNER. 

THE important night 
drew on, and with it the 
cares and excitement of a 
double event. The in- 
terests of all hearts and 
minds were centred in 
that day. None looked 
beyond. The dinner and 
dance formed the bound- 
ary of their mental hori- 
zon. At an early hour in 
the afternoon numerous 
rural vehicles came 
jingling into Handley 
Cross, with the mud of 
many counties on their 
wheels. Here was Squire 
Jorum's, the chairman of 
quarter sessions, green 
chariot, with fat Mrs. Jorum and three fat little Miss Jorums 
crammed inside, young Mr. Jorum having established himself along- 
side a very antediluvian-looking coachman, in dark drab, with a 
tarnished gold band on a new hat, who vainly plied the throng and 
crop of a substantial half pig-driver, half horse-breaker's whip, along 
the ribs and hind-quarters of a pair of very fat, square-tailed, heavy, 
rough-coatedj coarse-headed, lumbering nags, to induce them to trot 
becomingly into the town. Imperials, a cap-box, a maid in the 
rumble, all ensconced in band-boxes, proclaim their destiny for that 
day. Captain Slasher, with a hired barouche and four black screws, 
all jibbing and pulling different ways — the barouche full of miscel- 
laneous foot cornets in plain clothes (full of creases of course), dashes 
down East Street, and nearly scatters his cargo over the road, by 
cutting it fine between Squire Jorum's carriage and the post. A 
yellow dennet passes by, picked out with chalk, mud, and black stripes: 
two polar bear-looking gentlemen, in enormous pea-jackets, plentifully 




SUCKING-PIG ! 



OR, MR. JORROCKS'S HUNT. 227 

be-pocketed, with large wooden buttons, are smoking cigars ana 
driving with a cane-handled hunting-whip. Then a " yellow," with 
the driver sitting on the cross-bar, whose contents, beyond a bonnet and 
a hat, are invisible, in consequence of the window having more wood 
than glass in its composition, works its way up, and in its turn is 
succeeded by another private carriage with a pair of posters. 

Then there was such a ringing of bells, calling of waiters, cursing 
of chambermaids, and blasting of boots, at the various hotels, in con- 
sequence of the inability of the houses to swell themselves into three 
times their size, to accommodate the extraordinary influx of guests. 
" Very sorry, indeed," says Mr. Snubbins, the landlord of the Dragon, 
twisting a dirty duster round his thumb, " very sorry, indeed, sir," 
speaking to a red-faced big-whiskered head, thrust out of a carriage 
window, " we are full to the attics — not a shake-down or sofa un- 
occupied ; can get you a nice lodging out, if you like — very 
comfortable." 

" D — your comfortables, you lying thief ! — do you suppose I can't 
do that for myself ? Well, if ever you catch me coming to your 

house again I hope I may be " The wish was lost by some one 

pulling the irate gentleman back into his chaise, and after a short 
parley inside, during which three reasonable single gentlemen applied 
to Mr. Snubbins for the accommodation of a room amongst them to 
dress in for dinner, the boy was ordered to drive on, and make the 
grand tour of the inns. 

"Weary, most weary were the doings at the Dragon. Ring a ding, 
ding a ding dong, went the hostler's bell at the gate ; " Room for a 
carriage and pair ? " 

" Whose o' it ?" 

" Mrs. Grout's ! " 

" No, quite full ! " The hostler muttering to himself, Mrs. 
Grouts and two feeds — sixpence for hostler." Ring a ding, ding a 
ding, ding a ding dong. Hostler again — " Coming out ! " " Who 
now ? " " Squire Gooseander ! four posters, piping hot, white 
lather, boys beery, four on to Hollinshall, bait there, back to hall — 
sixpence a mile for good driving — out they come — there's your 
ticket — pay back and away." 

Tinkle, tinkle, tinkle, tinkle, tinJele, tinkle, tinkle, went a little bell, 
as though it would never stop. 

" Waiter ! " roared a voice from the top of the house, that came 
like a crash of thunder after the insignificant precursor, " am I to 
ring here all day ? Where's the boots ? I sent him for a barber an 
hour ago, and here I've been starving in my shirt-sleeves ever since." 

" Now, Jane, Miss Tramp wants her shoes." 

'* Where's the chambermaid ? " exclaimed a gentleman, rushing 
half frantic down-stairs ; " here's a man got into my room and 
swears he will dress in it." 

" Oh I I begs pardon, sir," replied the chambermaid, trying to 



228 HANDLEY CROSS; 

Bmooth him over, " we really are so full, sir, and I didn't think you'd 
be coming in so soon, sir." 

" Waiter ! somebody has changed my place at dinner ! I was 
next Mr. Walter Dale, and now they've put me below Mr. Barker — 
between him and Mr. Alcock : who the devil's done it ? " 

*• Boots ! Porter ! Boots ! run down to Mr. Ingledew the tailor's — 
you know him, don't you ? Corner of Hill Street — just as you 
turn off the esplanade ; and tell him he's sent me the wrong coat. 
Not half the size of my own — more like a strait-jacket than any- 
thing else. And here ! desire Mrs. Kirton to send some ball gloves 
for me to try on — lemon colour or white — three and sixpennv 
ones." 

" Lauk, I've come away and left Miss Eliza's stockings, I do 
declare ! " exclaims Jemima Thirlwell, Miss Eliza Rippon's lady's 
maid, pale with fear, " what shall I do ? Never was any thing so un- 
lucky — just took them to run my hand through and see they were all 
right, and left them hanging over the back of the chair. Know as 
well where they are as possible — but what's the use of that when 
they are ten miles off ? " 

" Waiter, what time's dinner ? " 

" Five o'clock, sir, and no waiting — Mr. Jorrocks swears he'll take 
the chair at five precisely, whether it's served or not," adds the 
waiter, with a grin. 

Then there was such work in the kitchen — Susan Straker, the 
cook, like all the sisterhood, was short in her temper, and severe and 
endless were the trials it underwent in consequence of the jingling 
and tinkling of the bells calling away the chambermaids who were to 
have assisted her in the kitchen. Then Mr. Jorrocks deranged her 
whole system by insisting upon having a sucking pig and roast 
goose that she intended for centre dishes, right under his nose at the 
top of the table ; added to which, the fish was late in coming, and 
there was not half as much maccaroni in the town as would make an 
inn dish. 

" Now, Jun," said Mrs. Jorrocks to her loving spouse, taking a 
finishing look of our hero as he emerged from his bed-room in the 
full dress uniform of his hunt, "see and conduct yourself like a 
gen'leman and with dignity, and, above all, keep soler — nothing so 
wulgar or ungenteel as gettin' intosticated. Belinda and I will call 
for you at ten minutes before ten, to take you on to the ball ; for, in 
course, it carn't commence till we come, and it won't be politeful to 
keep people waitin' too long." 

" Jest so," replied Mr. Jorrocks, adjusting a capacious shirt-frill in 
the glass. " Binjimin, I say, run and fatch the fly." 

Mr. Jorrocks was uncommonly smart. Sky-blue coat lined with 
pink satin, finely starched white waistcoat, new canary-coloured 
shorts, below whick stood a pair of splendid calves, encased in gauze 
white silk stockings, and his feet appeared in shining shoes witji 



OR, MR. JORROGKS'S HUNT. *29 

silver buckles. At either knee a profusion of white riband dangled 
in graceful elegance, looking for all the world like wedding favours. 
Benjamin, notwithstanding his boasting and taunting to Samuel 
Strong, knew his master too well, and the taste of his whip also, to 
attempt any of the exclusive tricks in the way of service, he gave 
himself credit for acting ; so settling himself into his frock-coat, and 
drawing on a pair of clean white Berlins, sufficiently long at the 
fingers to allow the ends to dribble in the soup-plates, he wiped his 
nose across his hand, and running away down to the stand, very soon 
had a fly at the door. Jorrocks stepped in, and Benjamin mounted 
behind with all the dignity of a seven-foot figure footman. Away 
they dash to the Dragon. 

Notwithstanding the descent of a drizzling rain, and the "in- 
clement season of the year," as newspapers phrase it, there was a crowd 
of servants, post-boys, beggars, and loiterers hanging about the arched 
gate-way of the Dragon to get a sight of our renowned hero alighting 
from his fly ; and great was the rushing and jostling to the door as 
it drew up. Mr. Snubbins, the landlord, a choleric round-faced little 
man, with a snub nose and a pimple on the end of it, had put him- 
self into a white waistcoat, with his best blue coat and black 
kerseymere shorts, to officiate behind Mr. Jorrocks's chair, and hear- 
ing our master's name bandied about on his arrival, met him at the 
foot of the stairs with all becoming respect, and proceeded to conduct 
him into the waiting-room. There was a strongish muster ; but two 
melancholy mould-candles, in kitchen candle-sticks, placed on the 
centre of a large table, shed such a dismal ray about the room, that 
little was distinguishable, save a considerable mass of white, and an 
equally large proportion of a darker colour. Some thirty or forty 
members of the Hunt, strangers and others, were clustered about, 
and there was a dull, funereal sort of hum of a conversation, inter- 
rupted every now and then by the recognition of friends, and the 
entrance of another arrival into the dingy apartment. Then there 
was the usual hiding of hats and cloaks — the secretion of umbrellas, 
goloshes, and sticks, and the expression of hopes that they might be 
forthcoming when wanted. 

Meanwhile the savoury smell of dinner fighting its way up the 
crowded staircase, in the custody of divers very long-coated post-boys 
turned waiters, and a most heterogeneous lot of private servants, 
some in top-boots, some in gaiters, some few in white cotton stock- 
ings, and the most out-of-the-way fitting liveries, entered the wait- 
ing-room, and the company began to prepare for the rush. All 
things, soup, fish, joints, vegetables, poultry, pastry, and game, being 
at length adjusted, and the covers taken off to allow them to cool, 
Mr. Snubbins borrowed a candle from the low end of the table, 
and forthwith proceeded to inform Mr. Jorrocks that dinner was 
served. 

Great was the rush ! The worthy citizen was carried out of tha 



280 HAND LET CBOSS ; 

waitiog-room across the landing, and half-way up the dining-room, 
Defore he could recover his legs, and he scrambled to his seat at the 
head of the table, amidst loud cries of " Sir, this is my seat ! Waiter, 
take this person out." — " Who are you ? " — " You're another ! " — 
" Mind your eye I " — " I will be here ! " — " I say you won't though ! " 
—"That's my bread!" 

Parties at length get wedged in. The clamour gradually subsides 
into an universal clatter of plates, knives, and forks, occasionally 
diversified by the exclamation of " Waiter I " or, " Sir, I'll be happy 
to take wine with yon." Harmony gradually returns, as the dinner 
progresses, and ere the chopped cheese makes its appearance, the 
whole party is in excellent humour. Grace follows cheese, and the 
" feast of reason " being over, the table is cleared for the " flow of 
soul." 

A long web of green baize, occasionally interrupted by the in- 
equalities of the various tables, succeeds, and clean glasses with 
replenished decanters and biscuit plates, for they do not sport dessert, 
are scattered at intervals along the surface. The last waiter at 
length takes his departure and eyes begin to turn towards the 
chair. 

" Mr. Wice ! " roars Mr. Jorrocks, rising and hitting the table with 
an auctioneer's hammer, " Mr. Wice-President, I say I " he repeats, 
in a louder and more authoritative tone, amid cries of " Chair ! chair 1 
order ! order ! silence ! silence ! " "I rises," says he, looking 
especially important, " to propose a toast, a bumper toast in fact, 
that I feels confident you will all drink with werry 'earty satisfaction 
— it is the health of our young, wirtuous, and amiable Queen 
(applause), a werry proper toast to give at a great sportin' dinner 
like this, seein' as how she is a werry nice little 'ooman, and keeps a 
pack of stag-'ounds. Gentlemen, I need not tell you that stag- 
'unting is a sport of great hantiquity, as the curiosity shop-keepers 
say ; but they couldn't do it in nothin' like the style in former days 
that they do* now, so in that respects we have the better of the old 
hancients. Who hasn't seen Frank Grant's grand pictor of the 
meet of the stag-'ounds on Hascot 'Eath ? That will tell you how 
it's done now — French polish, blue satin ties, such as Esau never 
could sport. That's a pictor, my bouys, and when I've 'unted your 
country to the satisfaction of you all, as I've no manner of doubt at 
all that I shall, then you subscribe and get Frank to paint me and 
my 'ounds. And now for the toast," added Mr. Jorrocks, raising a 
brimming bumper high in hand : " The Queen and her Stag- 
'ounds ! " Drunk with a full and heavy round of applause. After 
resuming his seat for a few seconds, during which time he conned 
the next toast in his mind, Mr. Jorrocks rose and called for another 
bumper, just as Captain Doleful was rising to return thanks on 
behalf of her Majesty. 

u Mr. Wice I " he roared out, " I rise to propose another bumper 



OR, MR. JORROGKS'S HUNT. 231 

toast, as big a bumper as the last in fact, and one that I feel 
conwinced you will all be most 'appy to drink. We have just had 
the honour of drinking the health of the Queen ; there is one near 
and dear to her Majesty, who, I feels assured, you will not be the less 
delighted to honour (applause). I need not say that I alludes to the 
great patron o' the "Woods and Forests, Prince Halbert, the best- 
looking man i' the country." (Drunk with immense applause — one 
cheer more— Huzzah !) 

Mr. Jorrocks being an expert chairman, from frequent practice at 
" free-and-easys," went on pretty briskly at starting, and the com- 
pany had hardly drained their glasses, and got settled after cheering, 
before his hammer was at work again, and he called for another 
bumper toast. 

Having given " The Prince of Whales," as he called him, and 
" the rest of the Eoyal Family," " Gentlemen," said he, rising, glass 
in hand, " I have now to propose to your favourable consideration an 
important branch o' British diwersion, and one for which this 
country long has, and ever will, stand most howdaciously con- 
spicuous (cheers). I allude to the noble sport of racin' " (" Hear, hear, 
hear," from Mr. Strider, and a slight jingling of glasses from friends 
in his neighbourhood). " Gentlemen, racin' is a sport of great 
hantiquity, so old, in fact, that I carn't go back to the time when it 
commenced. It is owin' to racin' and the turf, that we now possess 
our superior breed of 'osses, who not only amuse the poor people wot 
carn't afford to hunt, by their runnin', but so improve our breed of 
cavalry, as enables us to lick the world (cheers). I am sure, gentle- 
men, you will all agree that racin' is one of the noblest and most 
delightful sports goin', and honoured as we are, this evenin', by the 
presence of one of the brightest hornaments o' the British turf," (Mr. 
Jorrocks looking most insinuatingly down the table at Strider, a3 
much as to say, " That will do you, my boy,") " I feels assured I 
need only couple with the turf the popular name of Strider (loud 
cheers), to insure a burst of hearty and enthusiastic applause." Jor- 
rocks was right in his surmise, for no sooner was the name pro- 
nounced, than there was such a thumping of the baize-covered tables, 
such a kicking of the floor, and such a shouting and clapping of 
hands, that the concluding words of his speech were audible only to 
the reporter, who was accommodated with a small round table and a 
large bottle of port immediately behind the chair. 

Strider was rightly named Strider, for he was an immensely tall, 
telescopic kind of man, so tall, that he might pass for the author of 
Longfellow's poems, who now drew himself out from under the table 
as though he was never going to end. He had a frightful squint, so 
that when meant to look at the chair, one eye appeared settled half- 
way down the table, and the other seemed to rest upon the ceiling. 
He was dressed in a round, racing, cut-away coat with basket 
buttons, drab trousers, and a buff waistcoat, with a striped neck- 



232 HANBLET CROSS; 

cloth. He had made money by racing — if honestly, he was a much 
belied man — but as he spent it freely, and not one man in a hun- 
dred cares to ask how it comes, Strider was popular in his neigh- 
bourhood. 

" He felt deeply sensible of the honour that had been dene him by 
their distinguished chairman and that great meeting, not only by the 
manner in which his health had been proposed, but for the handsome 
compliment that had been paid to the great national and all-enjoy- 
able sport of racing, which he felt assured required no recommenda- 
tion from him, as no one could partake of it once without being fully 
convinced of its infinite superiority and worth. He was happy to see 
that his humble exertions in the great and good cause had not been 
altogether thrown away, for, in the list of races for next year, he saw 
many names that had never been put down before, and having now 
got a master of hounds whose name was closely associated with every- 
thing that was sporting and popular, he made no doubt things would 
proceed in a true railway style of progression, and the name of Jor- 
rocks would be followed by every well-wisher to that noble animal, 
the horse. The list of Hashem races for the next year, he would 
take the liberty of handing up to the chair," producing, as he spoke, 
a long, half-printed, half-manuscript sheet from his coat-pocket, 
" and, in conclusion, he had only to repeat his most grateful 
thanks for the very distinguished 1 honour they had conferred upon 
him." 

Thereupon three-quarters of the orator disappeared under the table 
— the list passed quickly up, for no one ventured to look at it, lest a 
subscription should be inferred, and on its reaching the president, he 
very coolly folded it up, and put it in his pocket. Mr. Strider looked 
all ways except straight at Mr. Jorrocks, who very complacently pro- 
ceeded with his list of toasts. " Gentlemen," cried he, getting up 
again, " Mr. Wice-President and gentlemen ! " he exclaimed ; " the 
next toast is one that I feels assured you will drink with werry great 
satisfaction, and in a full bumper, with all the honours — it is the 
health of a gentleman now present, who, though no fox-'unter him- 
self — the more's the pity — is nevertheless a real Mend to the sport, 
and not one of your selfish warmints wot destroys foxes because he 
does not care about Talli-hoing himself, but, with most trumpish con- 
sideration, does his best to promote the sport of his friends and 
neighbours, thereby settin' an example worthy of imitation by all, 
both great and small (cheers). When I say it's the health of a 
gentleman wot gives a brace of covers, free gratis, all for nothin', to 
our 'unt, your percussion imaginations will readily supply the name 
of Yarnley (loud applause) ; and I propose we drink in a full bumpei 
the health of Mr. Yarnley, and proprietors of covers, and promoters 
of fox-'uiiting." This toast was drunk with very great applause, 
and some seconds elapsed before silence was restored. Mr. Yarnley 
then rose. 



OB, MB. JOBBOCKS'S RUNT. 233 

He, too, was a tallish man, but coming after Strider he looked less 
than he really was, added to which, a frock-coat (sky-blue, with pink 
lining) rather detracted from his height ; his face was long and red, 
his nose very short and thick, and his hair very straight. ^ " Mr. 
President and gentlemen ! " said he, very slowly, fixing his eyes 
steadily on a biscuit-plate before him, "for the honour you have done 
me — hem— in drinking my health — hem — I beg — hem — to return 
you — hem — my most sincere thanks — hem — and gentlemen, I can 
only say — hem — that I have always been a friend — hem — to fox- 
'unting — hem (cheers) — and I always shall be a friend to fox-'unting, 
gentlemen (cheers) — which I am sure is a most agreeable sport 
(cheers)— hem, hem — and, gentlemen, I hope you will always find 
foxes in my covers — hem (applause) — for I can only say, gentlemen, 
that I do preserve foxes, gentlemen — hem (renewed applause)— and I 
always have preserved foxes, gentlemen — hem, hem — " when Yarnley, 
seeming about brought up, the company cheered, and drinking off his 
heel-taps, he concluded with saying, " and, gentlemen, I always will 
preserve foxes ! " 

" Mr. Wice-President," roared Mr. Jorroeks, above the clamour 
that now began to prevail, as tongues become loosened with the juice 
of the grape, " Mr. Wice-President, having drank the first of all 
sports, let us not forget another werry pleasant branch of 'unting 
that many delight in who cannot partake of the other, and which is 
useful as well as pleasant, I mean 'are-'unting ; it is a werry nice 
lady-like amusement ; and though we have had no 'are-soup at 
dinner, I makes no doubt we have some werry keen 'are-'unters at 
table for all that. I begs to give you ' 'Are-'unting and the merry 
Dotfield 'Arriers.' " 

While Mr. Jorroeks was delivering himself of this eloquence, an 
evident uneasiness prevailed among divers fat, ruddy-faced members 
of the Dotfield hunt, chiefly dressed in single-breasted green coats 
with bright buttons, and drab breeches, with woollen stockings, who 
were scattered among the company, as to Avho should acknowledge the 
honour that was done their calling, and gradually they turned to a 
sportsman near Mr. Jorroeks, one of the many masters who, bolder than 
the rest, returned thanks in a dribbling, cold-hunting sort of speech, 
while some dozen stood up to signify their approbation of the senti- 
ments of the speaker, and their sense of the honour that had been 
individually done them. 

Coursing followed hare-hunting, according to previous arrangement, 
which Mr. Jorroeks described as a fine useful sport, and expatiated 
largely on the merits of " 'are-soup " and " jugged 'are." 

Captain Couples briefly acknowledged the honour. 

Doleful now began twisting his face into a variety of contortions as 
;he time approached for him to let off his cut-and-dried speech. He 
jad it in notes under his biscuit-plate, at least all the long words he 
was likely to forget, and now was the time for pouring them upon 



234 BANDLEY CROSS; 

the company. " Gentlemen ! " said he, in a shrill, penny-trumpet 
sort of voice, hitting the table with his knuckles ; " Gentlemen ! " 
he repeated, without drawing the attention of the company to his 
upright position. 

" Silence ! " roared Mr. Jorrocks, like Jupiter himself, and the 
noise was quelled on the instant. 

" Gentlemen ! " shrieked Captain Doleful, for the third time, 
'"' often as it has fallen to my lot to address meetings of my friends 
and fellow citizens, never, no never, did I rise with feelings of such 
unmitigated embarrassment and trepidation as I do upon the present 
occasion, for I rise to take upon myself the high and important 
honour of offering to one of the most distinguished and enlightened 
assemblies human being ever addressed (loud cheers) a toast that nc. 
tongue can do justice in proposing, for it is the health of a man whose 
worth is superior to any form of words the English language is 
capable of supplying " (immense cheers). " 'Ookey Valker," said 
Mr. Jorrocks in an under tone. " Gentlemen," continued Captain 
Doleful, " deeply conscious as I am of my own unworthiness and in- 
capacity, I would infinitely prefer comprising the toast in the magic 
name of the gentleman whose health it is, were it not for the honour- 
able and important office of master of the ceremonies of this un- 
rivalled town, which renders it imperative upon me to attempt, 
however feebly and defectively, a slight portraiture of his unrivalled 
and surpassing worth (cheers). Gentlemen, whether I regard our 
great master in his private relation as a friend and delightful com- 
panion, oi' look at him in that resplendent cynosure, formed by the 
mastership of the Handley Cross fox-hounds, I know not in which 
character I feel the greatest difficulty and barrenness of expression 
— the greatest paucity of words, of simile, of fitting comparison (loud 
cheers). In the one, our estimable chairman is all mildness, like the 
blessed evening-star ; and in the other, all energy and daring, like 
the lion lord of the forest, rampant for his prey ! " (Renewed cheers.) 
"'Ookey Valker," again said Mr. Jorrocks, blowing his nose. 
"Unbounded in his liberality — unbounded in his hospitality — 
unbounded in his urbanity, his private character is equalled only by 
his public one (loud cheers). They are like rival moons! — opposition 
suns ! (Immense cheers.) But, gentlemen, what boots it for an 
humble individual like myself to occupy your valuable time (cries of 
" Go on," " Go on,") in attempting to do justice to a subject that, as 
I have already said, is beyond the reach of praise, — above the powers 
of words to accomplish ; let me rather resume the place I humbly 
occupy at this festive board — resume it at least until my important 
avocations call me, and you I hope I may add," grinning like a 
death's head upon the company, " to another and equally enchanting 
acene ; but before I sit down, let me utter the magic words, * Health 
and long life to John Jorrocks ! ' " 

The latter words were delivered in something between a screech 



OR, MR. JORROCKS'S HUNT. 235 

and a jell, but fortunately the unearthly sound was immediately 
quelled by the instantaneous rising of the company, who, in the 
most uproarious manner — some standing on their chairs, others with 
one leg on a chair and another on the table — roared forth the most 
deafening discharge of applause that ever was discharged in the 
Dragon, while Mr. Jorrocks sat wondering how long it would last. 
After a lapse of some minutes, order began to be restored, the 
company gradually got shuffled into their seats, and, filling himself 
a brimming bumper of port, Mr. Jorrocks at length rose to return 
thanks. 

" Well, now, dash my vig," said he, sticking his thumbs into the 
armholes of his waistcoat, " but frind Miserrimus has buttered me 
uncommon (laughter and cheers). Never was so reg'larly soaped i' 
my life (renewed laughter). A werry little more might have made 
one doubt his sincerity. I'm the man for all sorts of larks, and no 
mistake — one that goes the extreme animal — the entire pig — without 
a doubt. 'Untin' is the foremost passion of my 'eart ! compared 
with it all others are flat and unprofitable (cheers and laughter). It's 
not never of no manner of use 'umbuggin' about the matter, but 
there's no sport fit to hold a candle to fox-'untin' (cheers from the 
blue-coated party). Talk of stag-'untin' ! might as well 'unt a hass I 
— see a great lolloppin* beggar blobbin' about the market-gardens 
near London, with a pack of 'ounds at its 'eels, and call that diwer- 
sion ! My vig, wot a go ! (laughter). Puss-'untin' is werry well 
for cripples, and those that keep donkeys (renewed cheers from the 
blues, with angry looks from the green-coated gentry). Blow me 
tight ! but I never sees a chap a trudgin' along the turnpike, with a 
thick stick in his 'and, and a pipe in his mouth, but I says to myself, 
there goes a man well mounted for 'arriers ! (immense laughter and 
uproar continuing for some minutes, in the midst of which many of the 
green party left the room). I wouldn't be a master of muggers for 
no manner of money ! (renewed laughter.) Coursin' should be made 
felony ! Of all daft devils under the sun, a grey'ound's the daftest I 
(Renewed uproar, mingled with applause. — Captain Couples looked 
unutterable things.) Racing is only for rogues ! (Strider squinted 
frightfully.) I never goes into Tat.'s on a betttin'-day, but I says 
to myself as I looks at the crowd by the subscription-room door, there's 
a nice lot o' petty-larceny lads ! I'd rayther be a black-faced chimley 
sweep nor a white-faced blackleg ! " (hisses and applause.) 

Strider now drew himself from under the table, and shaking a fist 
towards Mr. Jorrocks, while his eyes looked across, and down, and 
round the room, everywhere but at the chairman, he stalked off, 
followed by Couples, and Couples's son, and a gentleman for whom 
Couples had paid, and brought in the chaise, amid ironical cheers 
from the blues, who encouraged Mr. Jorrocks by the most vociferous 
applause. " Believe me, my beloved bouys," continued Mr. Jorrocks, 
perfectly unconscious of the movement or the mischief he was doing, 



236 HANDLEY GROSS; 

" that 'untin', 'untin', 'untin', is the sport I Oh," said he, with up- 
turned eyes, " vot a martyr I am to the chase ! It makes me 
perfectly mad, — I dreams about it night after night, and every night. 
Sometimes I'm tormented with foxes ; I fancy I sees them grinnin' 
at me from all parts of the bed-curtains, and even sittin' upon the 
counterpane ! then I kicks them off, and away we all go to the tune 
of 'eads up and sterns down. Presently I sees Binjimin a ridin' on 
a whirlwind, and directin' the chase ; next minute I fancies myself 
on a pumped-out 'oss, a 'savin' and sobbin' i' the heavy, not a soul 
with the 'ounds, who are going away with a fresh fox, just as I sees 
the 'unted one dead beat, a crawlin' down an 'edge-row ; I outs with 
my 'orn, and, blow me tight, I carn't sound it ! At another time, a 
butcher's bouy, without an 'at, comes tearin' on a runaway tit, right 
among the 'ounds, who had thrown up in a lane, and the crashin' and 
yellin' is hawful. Again, I dreams, that jest as the darlin's are 
runnin' into the warmint all savage, and bristlin' for blood, a flock of 
sheep cross their line, when every 'ound seizes his mutton ; and then 
I sees a man with a long bill in his 'and, with a lawyer in the 
distance, makin' towards me, and then I avakes. 

" Oh, gentlemen ! gentlemen ! none but an 'untsman knows an 
'untsman's cares ! But come, never mind ; care killed the cat ! 
sha'nt kill me — vot's the toast ? " said he, stooping, and looking at 
his list ; " Ah ! I sees," reading to himself in a pretty loud voice, 
" Doleful M.O. — great sportsman — pleasant feller. Gen'lemen ! " 
roared he y resuming an erect position, " gen'lemen ! pray charge 
your glasses — bumper-toast — no 'eel-taps, no sky-lights, but reg'lar 
downright brimmin' bumpers to the 'ealth of a man wot shall be 
himmortal ! oh, gen'lemen, if ever it was hutterly unpossible to do 
the right measure of genteel by any one, it is upon the present most 
momentous crisis, when I rises to butter a man that is superior to 
butter — to hoil a man that is Macassar itself. Oh ! surely Doleful 
there," looking at the vice-chairman, " is a trump, and no mistake 
(laughter). Whether I looks at him as chief of the fantastic toers, 
or a leading sportsman of our brilliant 'unt, I doesn't know which 
character is the brightest (immense laughter, for all who knew 
Doleful, knew how perfectly innocent he was of sporting ; Doleful 
himself began to make wry faces"). I loves him as a sportsman, 
though we all know he only 'unts on the sly ! but then what a brilliant 
boy he is in a ball-room ! Talkin' of that, gen'lemen, this is hia 
benefit ball-night, and after we have had our twelve shillings' worth 
of liquor, I vote we should each spend a guinea with Miserrimus ; no 
one will grudge that trifle to such a werry pleasant trump — such a 
werry agreeable cock ; and though guineas don't grow upon goose- 
berry-bushes, still you must all fork out one to-night, for nobody 
goes in for less." Doleful, on hearing Jorrocks put this finishing 
3troke to his hash, wrung his hands in agony, and rushed out of the 
room, vowing, as he went down-stairs, that Jorrocks was the biggest 



OR, MR. JOBBOCKS'S HUJSiT., 



237 



ass — the greatest fool — the stupidest sinner, that ever came to 
Handley Cross. " Talltiio ! gone away ! " roared Mr. Jorrocks, as 
he saw Doleful bolt. " Hark back ! hark back ! " cried the company ; 
but Doleful was deaf to the rate, and cut away home, half frantic 



with rage. 




A MOST CONVIVIAL MEETING. 



"Well, ■' said Mr. Jorrocks, "as the gen'leman's hoff, it's no use i' 
finishin' my oration ; so, 'stead of the 'ealth of Old Doleful, I begs 
to propose, most cordially, that I sit down." 

Our friend then resumed his seat amidst great applause from the 
blues, and was considering how he could introduce a limping song he 
had composed in honour of Doleful, when a sudden rush of green and 

T 2 



238 RANVLEY GROSS; 

dark coats, headed by Strider, poured noisily into the room, and 
elbowed their way back to their places. The malcontents had held a 
consultation, and, advised by Doleful, were come to put their decision 
into execution. 

" Gentlemen ! " roared Strider, who had now reached his seat, 
" gentlemen ! " repeated he, standing like the monument, and 
squinting frightfully, amid cries of " Hear, hear — chair, chair — order, 
order — go it long 'un ! " from adverse parties. — " I rise to propose a 
resolution," roared Strider, holding a slip of paper upside down ; " I 
rise to propose a resolution," now getting the paper the right way 
for reading, " that I feel assured will be acceptable to the majority of 
this meeting — I move (reading) that Jorrocks John is the shabbiest 
fellow and greatest humbug we ever had at Handley Cross ! " And 
Jonwks, who had been crouching like a tiger for his spring, 
immediately rose amid immense uproar, and declared that he would 
move as an amendment, that " Jorrocks was a brick ! " and 
putting the amendment, he declared that "the * bricks' had it," 
whereupon a scene of indescribable confusion ensued, the green coats 
going in at the blues like bulls, and upsetting some half dozen of 
them before they knew where they were, while Jorrocks, getting hold 
of Strider, dealt a heavy blow in his ribs, and then split his coat up 
to the collar, just as a green biscuit dish grazed our master's head and 
knocked off his wig. 

Lights were then extinguished, and the company fought their way 
out of the room as best they could. Jorrocks lost a coat-lap, which 
now flaunts as a banner-screen in the drawing-room of Mrs. Royston 
of the Dotfield hunt. And so ended what the veracious Paul Pry 
called " a most convivial evening." 



OB, MB. JOMBOCKS'S HUNT. 



239 



CHAPTER XXVI. 

THE FANCY BALL. 



E must here indulge in a little 
retrospection. — Although Mr. 
Barnington hunted with the 
hounds, his lady took no notice 
of the Jorrockses, and dashed 
past their one-horse chaise with 
the air of an ill-bred woman 
drawn by well-bred horses. On 
foot, she never saw them ; and 
if she admitted a knowledge of 
their existence, it was in that 
casual sort of way that one 
speaks of a horse or a dog. 

Still she could not disguise 
from herself that they were 
thorns in her side. Mr. Jor- 
rocks's popularity, with Belinda's 
sweetness and beauty, went far 
to undermine the throne Mrs. 
Barnington had set up for her- 
self. Not only were her evening 
parties less sought after, but she 
had reason to suspect that even 
Captain Doleful had declined a 
dinner invitation in favour of the Jorrockses ! 

As yet they had never met, save in the streets ; but Captain 
Doleful's ball involved a crisis that could not be got over without a 
collision. This had been changed, by Mrs. Barnington's desire, into 
a fancy one, in order that she might triumph in the number and 
brilliance of her diamonds. The costume she fixed upon was that of 
Queen Elizabeth — not an ill-chosen one for her height and haughty 
bearing. The dress was ordered in London, as well for the 
purpose of having it unexceptionable in style and richness, as to 
enable her to blaze a splendid and unexpected meteor in the assembled 
host of Handley Cross. It was also expected to have a beneficial 
influence on Captain Doleful, should any doubt exist as to who was 
the fittest person for honour. 

Notwithstanding Mrs. Barnington's precautions, the secret of 
her dress transpired. Mrs. Jorrocks's Batsay having established 
an intimacy with our friend John Trot, the footman, the fact 
descended from the exalted reg-ion of upper servitude, and was 




<*? 



" DRESSING-XJP ! : 



communicated to Mrs. Jorrocks with the 



slight 



addition, that 



£40 HANDLEY CROSS* 

the Queen had graciously lent Mrs. Barnington her crown and 

sceptre. 

****** 

" Nay, then ! " exclaimed Mrs. Jorrocks, thinking it was all over 
with her, and fancying she saw Mrs. Barnington sailing into the 
room with Captain Doleful, her head in the air and her eyes on the 
ceiling. Long did she muse ere the table of precedence flashed 
across her mind. No sooner did it occur to her, than off she darted 
to Mr. Jorrocks's drawers, where, amid a goodly collection of letters, 
she succeeded in finding Captain Doleful's one, stating that "the 
Lady of the M.F.H. came on after members of the royal family, and 
before all bishops' wives and daughters, peeresses, knights' dames^ 
justices' wives, and so forth." 

* * * # * * 

" Mischievous 'ooman ! " exclaimed Mrs. Jorrocks, conning tue 
passage attentively ; " nasty, mean, circumwenting hanimal, I sees 
what's she's after ! — wants to steal a march on me as a member of 
the royal family. Come in as a queen, in fact ! I'll be hupsides 
vith her though ! " 

Thereupon Mrs. Jorrocks took a highly ornamented sheet of note- 
paper out of her envelope case, and concocted the following epistle to 
Captain Doleful : — 

" Mrs. Jorrocks* Oomp u Cap" Doleful, and I will feel much obliged 
if he will have the Icindness to lend her your table of Precedence for a 
few minutes, as she ivishes to see hoiv things stand in Handley Gross, 

" Diana Lodge." 



Captain Doleful was sitting on the counter in Miss Jelly's shop, in 
deep consultation with her about his fancy dress, when the note 
arrived. Having to be the great man of the ball, it was incumbent 
upon him to have something better than the old militia coat, or even 
the dress-hunt one, revised. Time pressed, or he would have tried 
what the Jew clothes-shops in London could do for him, but Miss 
Jelly, having a fertile imagination, and his interest at heart, he 
summoned her to his councils, to invent something showy without 
being expensive. 

Many costumes were talked over. Spanish would not do, because 
the captain would have to show his legs ; Swiss entailed a similar 
objection ; and the old English costumes were equally objectionable. 
Some were too costly, others too complex. 

* * * * * * 

" I have it ! " at length exclaimed Miss Jelly, clapping her hands, 
— "I have it!" repeated she, her face beaming with exultation. 
" You shall be the Great Mogul I " 



OR, MR. JORROCKS'S HUNT. 241 

11 The Great Mogul ! " repeated Captain Doleful, thoughtfully. 

" Yes, the Great Mogul ! " rejoined Miss Jelly. " A turban, with 
a half-moon in front, petticoat trousers, shell-jacket, moustachios, 
and so forth." 

" That will do, I think," replied Doleful, squeezing her hand. 
" Sound well, and not cost much — will it ? " 

" Oh, very little ! " replied Miss Jelly. " Let me see ! One of 
your scarlet pocket-handkerchiefs will make the crown of the turban, 
and the folds can be formed of white neckcloths. I have a bird of 
Paradise feather in my Sunday hat, and a string of large blue beads 
that will ornament the front. You want some summer trousers, so 
if you buy as much stuff as will make two pair, it will only be the 
making and altering, and you can get Nick Savoy into the house at 
three-and-sixpence a-day and his meals, who can cut out the jacket, 
and I will make and trim it myself." 

" Excellent ! " exclaimed Captain Doleful, rubbing his hands, and 
putting a whole penny tart into his mouth. Just then Benjamin 
entered, and after having been refused credit for an ounce of para- 
goric, he put Mrs. Jorrocks's note into Captain Doleful's hand. 

* * * * * * 

" I'll bring it immediately," said the Captain to Benjamin, bolting 
out of the shop by the side-door, winking at Miss Jelly as he went. 

* * * * -x- * 

Presently a stamp over-head announced that the Captain wanted 
Miss Jelly, who imprudently leaving the shop in charge of 
Benjamin, our friend filled his pockets with macaroons and his hat 
crown with sponge-biscuits, while she was getting her message 
up-stairs. 

****** 

"Captain Doleful's compliments to Mrs. Jorrocks," said Miss 
Jelly, returning, " and is very sorry that the table of precedence has 
not been returned from the Herald's College, where it was sent to be 
enrolled, but immediately it comes Mrs. Jorrocks shall have it." 

"Yes, marm" said Benjamin, hurrying off. 

****** 

" Please, marm, the Captain's compliments, and his table is at the 
joiner's gettin' rolled, but as soon as it comes 'ome you shall have it," 
was the answer Benjamin delivered to his mistress. 

The Captain was shy for a day or two, and Mr. Jorrocks, being 
more intent upon hunting than etiquette, the poor lady was left to 
her own devices. Belinda did not appreciate the point, and, more- 
over, was too busy with her dress to enter upon the question as she 
should do. 

Mrs. Jorrocks mistrusted the Captain, and thought he might be 
inclined to shuffle her off, under pretence of Mrs. Barnington being a 
queen. 



242 HANDLEY C1C0S8; 

" I'll be a queen, too ! " at length exclaimed she, after a long gase 
at the fire, thinking the thing over ; " I'll be a queen, too ! " repeated 
she, snapping her fingers, as though she were meeting Mrs. Barning- 
ton ; " I'll be a queen ! — the Queen of 'Earts ; " exclaimed she, 
looking at herself in the eagle- topped mirror. 

That evening she wrote the following letter to Miss Slummers, or 
Miss Howard, as she was now called : — 

"Dear Miss, — We are agoing to have a fancy tall here, and 1 
want your assistance in a dress. Was you ever the Queen of ' 'Earts ? 
If so, please lend me your roles. If not, pleaze lend me a crown as like 
the Queen of ^ Earls'* crown as you can get it. You know ifs not exactly 
a crown, out something like a crown stuck on a cap. The sceptre seems 
like a wand with a rose at the end. Pleaze let me know how I should 
be dressed behind, as the cards give one no idea. Should like the full 
robes, if you have them ; but, in course, will be happy to take what I 
can get. Excuse haste and a werry bad pen. Yours, in haste, 

"Julia Jorrocks. 

" Diana Lodge, Handley Cross Spa. 

" Miss Clarissa Howard, 

" Sadlers' Wells Theatre, London." 

Miss Slummers had never been the Queen of Hearts, but had 
enacted one of the rival Kings of Brentford, in the popular panto- 
mime of that name, and, after a conference with the property-man of 
the theatre, she thus answered her distinguished friend : — 

"Honoured Madam, — Your commands have been received ; and I 
much regret that, never having appeared in the distinguished part of 
the Q. of Hearts, I have not the necessary properties to send you. I am 
not aware that the character has ever appeared upon the stage other than 
in pantomine, and never at either of the theatres to which I have been 
attached; but our property-man thinks the accompanying croivn, fixed 
on a Swiss, cap, i Canton de Berne,'' will come as near the card as we 
can get it. I also send a sceptre, to ivhich is attached a large rose, that 
we used for the l two Kings of Brentford ' to smell at, ivhich comes as 
near the spirit of the thing as anything can be. The sceptre is our best, 
and triple gilt. The robes should be of brocaded satin, and a large 
reticule of red silk, in the shape of a heart, dangling negligently on your 
left arm, will at once proclaim your character. The back of your dress 
is not material, as crowned heads are only looked at in front. Any 
further assistance I can be of tvill be extremely gratifying to me ; and 
I beg to subscribe myself, ivith great respect, your most obedient and 
very humble servant, 

"C. Howard. 

" Theatre Royal, Sadlers' Wells. 

" Mrs. Jorrocks, 
" Diana Lodge, Handley Cross Spa." 



OR, MR. JORROCKS'S HUNT. 243 

So far, so good. The crown did admirably. It was studded with 
false brilliants, and looked splendid by candle-light. The sceptre, 
too, was imposing ; and, regardless of expense, Sirs. Jorrocks had 
the richest brocade cut into the requisite shapes, to wear over a red 
satin gown she had by her. JSTor was the heart-reticule forgotten ; 
and, altogether, Mrs. Jorrocks succeeded in making herself a very 
fair representative of her Majesty of Hearts. Belinda's pretty blue 
and white petticoat, with the scarlet body of a Valencian peasant, 
was changed for a plain white satin dress, with a court plume, for 
her to attend as maid of honour on her majesty. Charley was 
converted into a blue-bodied, white-legged page, with a Spanish hat 
and feathers. 

The Great Mogul's dress progressed favourably, too. His wide 
sleeves and great trousers were done, and Miss Jelly had got a 
bargain of tarnished lace for braiding his red jacket. A splendid 
beard, whiskers, moustache, and all, were hired for the night, and a 
pair of five-and-sixpenny red leather slippers were bought, to act the 
part of shoes at the ball, and supersede a pair of worn-out pumps 
afterwards. 

Mrs. Barnington having set the fashion of mystery about her dress, 
it was followed by the elite of the place, and each tried to mislead his 
neighbour. Swiss peasants said they were coming as Turks, Turks 
as Chinese, Charles the Seconds as Napoleons, and Huntsmen as 
Hermits. Still secrets will transpire, and Mrs. Barnington and Mrs. 
Jorrocks knew all about each other's dresses as well as if they were 
together every day. The former talked at Captain Doleful instead of 
to him, sometimes pretending to doubt whether the Jorrockses would 
go, fearing they would not, for vulgar people seldom liked getting so 
completely out of their element. For her part, she hoped they 
would, for she had a taste for natural curiosities — heard, too, their 
daughter was pretty, and should like to see her ; and she closed her 
last interview by presenting Captain Doleful with ten pound 1 : for her 
tickets. 

Mrs. Jorrocks was less mealy-mouthed, and finding the table of 
precedence was not likely to come, she called at Miss Jelly's on the 
morning of the ball, and asked the Captain what time she should be 
there to go into the room with him. This was a poser, that even the 
skilful Captain found difficult to parry ; but, while bustling his 
turban and trousers under the sofa, and fussing a greasy-covered 
arm-chair towards Mrs. Jorrocks, the dinner occurred to him, and, 
after looking vastly wise, he declared that that was the only thing he 
had any difficulty about. " You see," said he, " I am vice-president 
—then, Mr. Jorrocks is rather a sitter — not that I mean to say he 
gets drunk, but you know he is fond of society, gay and careless 
about time, and there are so many toasts to propose and so many 
speeches to make, that I fear it is utterly impossible to say what 
time we may get away, and I " 



244 HANDLE Y CROSS; 

" Well, but," interrupted Mrs. Jorrocks, " the dinner has nothin' 
to do with the dance ; if Jun chooses to lower 'imself by gettin' 
drunk, that's no reason why you should, and one wice can always 
appoint another wice, and wicey wersey, I suppose." 

"True," replied Captain Doleful, assenting to the position ; "but 
men, if all the dancing men are at the dinner, what use will a 
master of the ceremonies be of to the ladies ? " 

" Fiddle the ladies ! " exclaimed Mrs. Jorrocks ; " it's not dancirf 
men wot 'ill go to the dinner — not your 'air-curlin', arm-squarin', 
caperin' swells, but old-season'd casks, wot'll never think o' the 
dance." 

" I hope not," replied Captain Doleful ; " why, there will be Mr. 
Stobbs, for one." 

" He'll not go to the dinner," rejoined Mrs. Jorrocks — " stays at 
'ome with me." 



Just then, Miss Jelly, judging her lodger was in a dilemma, 
adroitly resealed three or four old notes, and bringing them up on a 
tart-plate, apologised for intruding, but said the servants were all 
urgent for answers ; and Captain Doleful, availing himself of the 
excuse, set to work most assiduously, and what with apologising, 
scribbling, and mistaking, Mrs. Jorrocks found she might as well go 
away. 

****** 

Thus matters stood on the eventful evening whose progress we 
have so far described. Mrs. Jorrocks was right as to the formation 
of the dinner-party, few dancing men, and scarcely any fancy 
dressers, being there. Most of the young gentlemen were corking 
their eyebrows, fixing on moustache, or drawing on dresses that made 
them look as unlike themselves as possible. Rear-admirals, who had 
never had a shave ; colonels, who didn't know how to fasten on their 
swords ; grandees, who didn't know how to get on their breeches ; 
and fox-hunters, who did not know how to put on their spurs, — stood 
admiring themselves before their sisters' mirrors, thinking the ball 
hour would never arrive. Young ladies laced themselves extra tight, 
and a little more toumure was allowed for setting off the gay bodices 
and swelling drapery of their dresses. Neat ankles availed themselves 
of the licence for wearing fancy dresses requiring short petticoats, 
while sweeping trains concealed others that were less fortunate in 
their make. Old dresses were metamorphosed into new, and new 
fancy ones were made for re-conversion into plain ones another time. 

Confused with,, wine and anger, Captain Doleful rushed hurriedly 
home to his lodgings, and threw himself into the easy chair by the 
fire. He was not done abusing Mr. Jorrocks, when Miss Jelly 
entered with a bed-candle, and a little jug of warm water. She had 
laid his dress out on the bed ; his red and white turban, beaded and 



OB, MB. JOBROCRS'S HUNT. 



245 



feathered, with a barley-sugar half-moon, surmounted his baggy 
trousers ; the red jacket was airing before the fire, and scarlet and 
white rosettes appeared on the insteps of the slippers. Seeing he was 
disturbed in his mind, Miss Jelly merely intimated that it wanted 
ten minutes to nine, and withdrew quietly below. 




THE GREAT MOGUL. 



There was no time to lose ; so hastily doffing his hunt-coat, &c, 
Captain Doleful was soon in his baggy trousers ; and having stamped 
over-head, Miss Jelly was speedily with him, assisting him into his 
drawn linen vest, ovei which came the embroidered scarlet jacket, 
with baggy linen sleeves, tightening at the wrist ; a long blue scarf 
encircling his waist, displaying the gilt handle of his militia sword. 



U6 HANDLEY CB0S3 ; 

When he had got on his beard, moustaches, and whiskers, and stir 
mounted the whole with his turban, his black eyes assumed a 
brightness, and his whole appearance underwent a change that elicited 
an involuntary expression of admiration from Miss Jelly. " The 
captain," she really thought, " looked splendid ! " Thereupon, 
regardless of the increasing ratio of fare, he liberally offered her a 
ride in his fly to the rooms. 

The Queen of Hearts commenced her toilette immediately after tea, 
and had no little trouble in fixing her crown, and her cap, and her 
front on her head. The rustling robes required much adjusting, and 
Belinda got little of Betsy's services that night. 

Mrs. Barnington's robes being accurately made, were easily ad- 
justed. Her great ruff rose majestically ; her pink satin jewelled 
stomacher, piqued in the extreme, glittered with diamonds and 
precious stones, and her portentous petticoat of white satin, embroi- 
dered with silver, stood imperiously out. Round her neck she wore 
a costly chain, and her black coif was adorned with ropes and stars 
of jewels, with an enormous diamond brilliant in the centre. She 
rustled at every move. 

By half-past nine, all Handley Cross was in masquerade. Brothers 
met sisters in the drawing-rooms, and were lost in astonishment at 
each other ; the servants came openly forward to inspect their young 
masters and mississes. The rain had ceased and been succeeded by a 
starlight night ; the populace turned out to congregate about the 
ball-rooms, or at the doors where carriages waited to take up. The 
noise inside the Dragon kept a crowd up outside ; and as the Queen 
of Hearts drove up for her husband, rival cheers announced her arrival. 

" It's a man ! " exclaimed one, putting his face close to the window 
as Mrs. Jorrocks lowered the glass of the fly, to give her orders to the 
fly-man. 

" It's not ! " replied another. 

" I say it is ! " rejoined a third. " It's a beef-eater — what they 
stick outside shows to 'tice the company up." Then a fresh round of 
cheers arose, which might either be in answer to applause within, 
or in consequence of the discovery made without, for a mob is never 
very particular what they shout fur. Meanwhile Mrs. Jorrocks drew 
up the glass protecting her maid of honour, her page, and herself, 
from the night air. 

The Queen of Hearts was in a terrible fidget, and every moment 
seemed an hour. Flys drove up for gentlemen that were " not ready," 
and cut away for those whose turn came next. Shouts sounded in the 
various streets as befeathered and bespangled dresses darted through 
the crowds into the carriages ; and as the vehicles fell into line by 
the rooms, there was such gaping, and quizzing, and laughing among 
the spectators, and such speculation as to what they were. 

People generally go early to fancy-balls ; it is one of the few things 
of life that a person is not ashamed of being first at Indeed the 




^ 

^ 



^ 



s 



^ 



OR, MR. JORROCKS'S HUNT. 24? 

order of things is generally reversed, and instead of people telling 
their friends that they mean to be there rather earlier than they do, 
they are apt to name a somewhat later time, in order to arrive first 
themselves. Some thirty or forty people had got there before Captain 
Doleful, chiefly door-payers, who came to see the fun, without regard 
to benefiting him. Three Bohemian brothers, a Robin Hood, a Mail 
Guard, and a Rural Policeman were not a little puzzled at the Great 
Mogul's empressement, for though thev knew him as Captain Doleful, 
M.O., they had no idea who the gentleman was in the turban and 
trousers. 

The red folding-doors now kept flapping like cou dors' wings, as 
Highlanders, and archers, and deputy-lieutenants, and Hamlets, and 
sailors, and Turks, and harlequins, and judges, and fox-hunters, came 
shouldering and elbowing in with variously-dressed ladies on their 
arms, — Russians, Prussians, Circassians, Greeks, Swiss, and Chinese 
— a confusion of countries all speaking one tongue. Captain Doleful 
was pushed from his place before the doors, and nobody ever thought 
of asking for him, so intent were they on themselves and each other. 
" Bless me, is that you ? "— " Who'd have thought ? "— " Mar, here's 
James ! " " Oh, dear, and William Dobbs ! "— " What's your dress ? " 
" Beautiful, I declare ! " — " Your pistols arn't loaded, I hope ? " — 
"Splendid uniform I" — " French chasseur ! " — "They told me you 
were coming as a post-boy." — " Oh, dear, look there ! '•' — " What a 
rum old lass!" — "The Queen of the Cannibal Islands! " — "Mrs. 
Hokey Pokey Wankey Fum ! " 

We need scarcely say that this latter exclamation was elicited by 
the entrance of the Queen of Hearts, followed by her page in Spanish 
costume of spangled purple velvet and white, with black hat and 
feather ; and Belinda in white satin, with a court plume of feathers. 
A slight flush of confusion mantled over her lovely brow, imparting a 
gentle radiance to her languishing blue eyes, contrasting with the 
fixed and stern determination of her aunt's. Her majesty's ap- 
pearance was certainly most extraordinary. The free-masonish sort 
of robes, the glittering crown on the sombre cap, the massive sceptre 
held like a parasol, were ludicrous enough ; but in addition to this, 
her majesty had forgotten to put off her red and white worsted feet- 
comforters, und was makinsr her wav ud the room with them 
draggling about her anKies. 

Captain Doleful, all politeness, informed her of the omission, and 
unfortunately discovered himself, for no sooner did Mrs. Jorrocks find 
out to whom she was indebted, than keeping her arm in the Great 
Mogul's, where it had been placed while she drew the things off, she 
made a movement towards the ball-room door, which being seconded 
by the crowd behind — all anxious to get in and scatter themselves 
for inspection — they were fairly carried away by the tide, and the 
Queen of Hearts and the Great Mogul entered the room with people 
of all nations at their heels. 



24* EANDLEY CROSS; 

Great was Mrs. Jorrocks , gratitude. " Oh, dear, it was so werry 
kind — so werry engagin'. If it hadn't been the oaptin announcin' 
himself, I should never have guessed it was him ; " and the captain 
bit his lips and cursed his stupidity for getting himself into such a 
mess. Still the Queen of Hearts stuck to him, and, sceptre in hand, 
strutted up and down the well-lit room, fancying herself " the 
observed of all observers.'' 

For the first time in his life, the captain's cunning forsook him, 
He didn't know how to get rid of his incubus, — and even if he did, 
he knew not whether to station himself in the ante-room to receive 
Mrs. Barnington, or to let the ball begin, and brazen it out. As he 
walked about, half frantic with rage, his turban pinching, and his 
beard and whiskers tickling him, an opposition Mogul gave the signal 
to the musicians, and off they went with a quadrille, leaving the 
couples to settle to the figure as the music went on. 

Then as Turks talanced to Christians, and Louis Napoleon wheeled 
sweet Ann Page about by the arms, two highly-powdered footmen 
threw wide the doors, and in sailed Mrs. Barnington, catching poor 
Doleful with Mrs. Jorrocks on his arm. One withering look she 
gave, and then drawing herself up into a sort of concentrated essence 
of grandeur, towered past, followed by old Jorrocks minus his coat- 
tail ; and our worthy master, thinking to do all proper honours to the 
wife of a gentleman who subscribed so liberally to his hounds, imme- 
diately asked her to dance, which being indignantly refused, he con- 
soled himself by taking all the pretty girls in the room by turns, who 
unanimously declared that he was a most agreeable, energetic old 
gentleman, and an excellent dancer. 

And owing to the spirit with which Mr. Jorrocks kept it up, that 
ball was productive of a most prolific crop of offers, which, we need 
scarcely say, sent the Jorrocks funds up very considerably. 



OB, MB. JOBBOCKSS HUNT. 



249 



CHAPTEK XXVII. 



ANOTHER SPORTING LECTOR. 

MR. JORROCKS'S 

tongue being now well 
laid in for talking, he 
determined to keep it 
going, by giving an- 
other sporting lecture. 
Being, however, of 
opinion that a lecture 
that was worth listening 
to, was worth paying 
for, he determined to 
charge a shilling a head 
entrance, as well for 
the purpose of indem- 
nifying himself against 
the expenses of the 
room, &c, as of giving 
Pigg the chance of any 
surplus there might be 
over for pocket-money, 
of which useful article 
James was rather short. 
Our master's fame 
being now widely esta- 
blished, and occupation 
uncommonly slack at 
Handley Cross, a goodly 
muster was the result. 
Precisely as the clock 
was done striking seven, Mr. Jorrocks ascended the platform, attended 
by a few friends, and was received with loud cheers from the gentle- 
men, and the waving of handkerchiefs from the lady part of the 
audience. Of these there was a goodly number, among whom was 
Mrs. Jorrocks, in a great red turban with a plume of black feathers* 
reclining gracefully on one side ; Stobbs sat between her and Belinda, 
who was dressed in a pale pink silk, with a gold cord in her hair : 
Belinda looked perfectly happy. When the applause had subsided, 
Mr. Jorrocks advanced to the front of the platform (which was 
decorated as before), and thus addressed the audience : — 

" Frinds and fellow-countrymen ! Lend me your ears. 1 hat's to 
say, listen to wot I'm a goin' to say to you. This night I shall 




: ^mmm^m^F^^ 



250 BINDLEY CROSS: 

enlighten you on the all-important ceremony of takin' the field.** 
(Loud applause.) 

" Takin' the Field ! " repeated he, throwing out his arms, and 
casting his eyes up at the elegant looping of his canopy. " Takin' 
the Field ! glorious sound ! wot words can convey anything 'alf so 
delightful? 

" In my mind's eye I see the 'ounds in all their glossy pride a 
trottin' around Arterxerxes, who stamps and whinnies with delight at 
their company. There's old Pristess with her speckled sides, lookiu' 
as wise as a Christian, and Trusty, and Tuneable, and Warrior, and 
Wagrant, and Workman, and Wengence, and all the glorious com- 
rades o' the chase. 

" But to the pint. Ingenious youth, having got his 'oss, and 
learned to tackle him, let me now, from the bonded warehouse of my 
knowledge, prepare him for the all-glorious ceremony of the 'unt. 

" How warious are the motives," continued Mr. Jorrocks, looking 
thoughtfully, " that draw men to the kiver side. Some come to see, 
others to be seen ; some for the ride out, others for the ride 'ome ; 
some for happetites, some for 'ealth, some to get away from their 
wives, and a few to 'unt. Ah ! give me the few — the chosen few— 
* the band o' brothers,' as the poet says, wot come to 'unt ! — men wot 
know the 'ounds, and know the covers, and know the country, and 
above all, know when 'ounds are runnin', and when there're hoff tht 
scent — men wot can ride in the fields, and yet 'old 'ard in the lanes 
— men wot would rayther see the thief o' the world well trounced ii* 
cover, than say they took a windmill in the hardour of the chase. 
Could I but make a little country of my own, and fill it with critturs 
of my own creation, I'd have sich a lot o' trumps as never were seen 
out o' Surrey. (Loud cheers.) 

" Bliss my 'eart, wot a many ways there is of enjoyin' the chase," 
continued Mr. Jorrocks, " and 'ow one man is led into folly and ex- 
travagance by another ! Because great Sampson Stout, who rides 
twenty stun', with the nerves of a steam-hengine, keeps twelve 
'unters and two' acks, little Tommy Titmouse, who scarcely turns nine 
with his saddle, must have as many, though he dare hardly ride over 
a water furrow. Because Sir Yawnberry Dawdle, who lies long in 
bed, sends on, Mr. Larkspur, who is up with the sun, must needs do 
the same, though he is obliged to put off time, lest he should arrive 
afore his 'oss. Because Lady Giddyfool puts a hyacinth in her lord's 
button-'ole, every hass in his 'unt must send to Covent Garden to get 
Borne. I werrily believes, if a lord was to stick one of my peacock 
Gabriel Junks's feathers in his 'at, there would be fools to follow his 
example ; out upon them, say I : 'unting is an expensive amusement 
or not, jest as folks choose to make it. 

" There's a nasty word called ' can't, 7 that does an infinity of mis- 
chief. One can't 'unt without eight 'osses ; one can't do without 
two 'acks ; one can't ride ic a country saddle ; one can't do this, and 



OR, MR. JORROCKS'S HUNT. 251 

one can't do that — hang your cant's ! Let a man look at those 
below him instead o' those above, and think W much better hoff he 
is nor they. (Applause.) Surely the man with one 'oss is oetter off 
than the man with none ! (Renewed applause.) 

" Believe me, my beloved 'earers, if a man's inclined for the chase, 
he'll ride a'most anything, or valk sooner than stay at 'ome. I often 
thinks, could the keen foot-folks change places with the fumigatin' 
yards o' leather and scarlet, wot a much better chance there would 
be for the chase ! They, at all events, come out from a genuine 
inclination for the sport, and not for mere show-sake, as too many do. 

" Dash my vig, wot men I've seen in the 'unting-field ! men 
without the slightest notion of 'unting, but who think it right to try 
if they like it, jest as they would try smokin' or eaten' olives after 
dinner. 

" * You should get a red coat, and join the 'unt,' says a young 
gen'leman's old aunt ; and forthwith our hero orders two coats of the 
newest cut, five pair of spurs, ten pair of breeches, twenty pair of 
boots, waistcoats of every cut and figure, a bunch of whips, 
diachulum drawers, a cigar-case for his pocket, a pocket siphonia, a 
sandwich-case for one side, and a shoe-case for t'other, and keeps a 
hair-bed afloat agin he comes 'ome with a broken leg. (Laughter 
\nd applause.) 

" But I lose my patience thinkin' o' such fools. If it warn't that 
nmong those who annually take the field, and are choked off by the 
expense, there are ingenuous youths who, with proper handlin', might 
make good sportsmen and waluable payin' subscribers, I'd wesh my 
'ands of sich rubbish altogether. If any such there be within the 
limits of this well-filled room, let him open wide his hears, and I will 
teach him, not only how to do the trick, but to do it as if he had 
been at it all his life, and at werry little cost. Let him now pull out 
his new purchase, and learn to ride one 'oss afore he keeps two. We 
will now jog together to the meet. And mark ! its only buoys in 
jackets and trousers that are out for the first time. — Viskers, boots, 
and breeches, are 'sposed to come from another country. First we 
must dress our sportsman ; — no black trousers crammed into top- 
boots — no white ducks shaped over the foot, or fur-caps cocked 
jauntily on the 'ead ; — real propriety, and no mistake ! 

" That great man Mr. Delme Ratcliffe, says in his interestin' blue* 
book, * that there's nothin' more snobbish than a black tye with top- 
boots.' It was a werry clever remark, and an enlargement of Mr. 
Hood's idea of no one ever havin' seen a sailor i' top boots. Bishops' 
boots Mr. RadclifFe also condemned, and spoke highly in favour of 
tops cleaned with champagne and abricot jam. 'Hoganys, 'owever, 
are now all the go, and the darker the colour, the keener the wearer 
expects to be thought. I saw a pair i' the Cut-me-Downs last year, 
tLut were nearly black. 

44 Leather-breeches Mr. Radcliffe spoke kindly of, but unless a map 

u 



252 HANDLIST CROSS; 

has a good many servants, he had better have them cleanin' his 'osfc 
than cleanin' his breeches. Leathers are werry expensive, though 
there's a deal of wear i' them. I have a pair that were made by 
White o' Tarporley, in George the Third's reign, and though the cut 
is summut altered, the constitution of them remains intact. In those 
days it was the fashion to have them so tight, that men used to be 
slung into them by pulleys from their ceilings ; and a fashionable 
man, writin' to his tailor for a pair, added this caution, ' Mind, if I 
can get into them, I won't have them.' Leathers were once all the 
go for street-work, and werry 'andsome they looked. 

" I've heard a story, that when George the Fourth was Prince, a 
swell coveted the style of his leathers so much that he bribed the 
Prince's valet largely for the recipe. ' You shall have it,' said the 
man pocketin' the coin, and lookin' werry wise ; ' the fact is,' added 
he, ' the way his Royal 'Ighness's royal unmentionables look so well 
is, because his Royal 'Ighness sleeps in them.' " (" Haw, haw, haw," 
grunted Mr. Jorrocks, in company with several of his audience.) 
" Some chaps affect the dark cords as well as the 'hogany boots, but 
there's as much haffectation i' one as the other. Blow me tight, if it 
weren't for the bright colours there wouldn't be many fox-'unters. 

" The custom of riding in scarlet is one it becomes me to speak 
upon ; — I doesn't know nothin' about the hantiquity of it, or whether 
Julius Caesar, or any other of those antient covies, sported it or not ; 
but, like most subjects, a good deal may be said on both sides of the 
question. There's no doubt it's a good colour for wear, and that it 
tends to the general promotion of fox-'unting, seeing that two-thirds 
of the men wot come out and subscribe wouldn't do so if they had to 
ride in black. Still I think ingenuous youth should not be permitted 
to wear it at startin', for a scarlet coat in the distance, though chock 
full of hignorance, is quite as allurin' as when it encloses the most 
experienced sportsman. 

" I remembers dinin' at a conwivial party in London, where there 
was a wery pleasant fat * M. F. H.,' who told a story of what 'appened 
to him in the New Forest. This, I need scarcely say, is a great wood 
of many thousand hacres (a hundred thousand p'raps), and unless a 
man looks sharp, and keeps near the 'ounds, he stands a werry good 
chance of losin' of them. Well, it so 'appened that this 'ere fat 
gen'l'man did lose them, and castin' about, he saw a red coat flyin' 
over a flight o' rails i' the distance. In course he made for it, but 
afore he got up, what was his astonishment at seein' red-coat pull up 
and charge back ! He found the gen'l'man knew nothin' about the 
'ounds, and was gettin' on capital without them. 

" A Yorkshire frind o' mine went to a union 'unt, where men from 
three countries attended. — The field was frightful ! Three 'underd 
and fifty 'ossmen, all determined to ride, and as jealous as cats. 
Now my frind being a true-born Briton, and not to be made to ride 
over nothin' on compulsion, started away in quite a different line to 



OE, ME. JOB EOCK S'S HUNT. 265 

wot the fox broke, followed by an 'underd 'ossmen, or more. The 
'arder he went, the 'arder they rode, and fearin' he might fall, and be 
flummox'd, he made for a windmill on a neighbouring 'ill, and stuck 
his 'oss's tail to the sails. 

" Up came his followers, puffin' and blowin' like so many gram- 
puses. * Vich vay ? vich vay ? vich vay are th' 'ounds gone ? ' 
gasped they. 

" ' 'Ounds ! ' exclaimed my frind ; ' I've been ridin' away from you 
Ml the time ; 'ounds be gone t'other way ?' " (" Haw, haw, haw ! " a 
laugh in which the whole room joined, till the mirth got up into a 
roar, which Mr. Jorrocks availed himself of to pay his respects to a 
stiff tumbler of brandy and water that now began to send forth itE 
fragrance from the table at the rear of the platform.) 

Smacking his lips, he thus resumed — 

" So much for the force of example, gen'lemen ; — had my frind 
been in black, the crowd wouldn't have come. Still the colour's 
good, and it ar'n't the use, but the abuse, that I complains on. For 
my part I likes a good roomy red rag, that one can jump in and out 
of with ease. These fine tight things," continued he, taking hold of 
his sky-blue coat, lined with pink silk, and looking at his canary - 
coloured shorts, "are all well enough for dancin' in, but for real 
scrimmagin' out-door work, there's nothin' like room and flannel; — 
good long-backed coats, with the waistcoat made equally warm all 
round, and the back to come down in a flap, and plenty of good well- 
lined laps to wrap over one's thighs when it rains." — Mr. Jorrocks 
suiting the action to the word, and describing the cut of each article 
as he went on. " Berlin gloves are capital for 'unting in," continued 
he ; " they keep your 'ands warm, and do to rub your nose upon in 
cold weather. 

" Youngsters should be cautious o' spurs ; — they may use them wot 
is called incontinently, and get into grief. I disagree with Geoffry 
Gambado, who recommends the free use of them* as tendin' to keep 
the blood in circulation, and preventin' one's toes catchin' cold. He 
recommends spurrin' i' the shoulder, where he says an 'oss has most 
feelin', because he has most weins ; adding, that by spurrin' at his 
body, five times in six your labour is lost ; for if you are a short man, 
you spur the saddle-cloth only ; if a leggy one, you never touch him 
at all ; and if middlin', the rider wears out his own girths, without 
the 'oss being a bit the better for it ; but my own opinion is, that the 
less ingenuous youth uses them the better. 

" A slight knowledge o' farm in' promotes the true enjoyment of the 
chase. What so 'umiliatin' as to see a big farmer bullyin' a little 
man in leather and scarlet for ridin' over his seeds, when the innocent 
is ignorant of havin' done nothin' o' the sort. Seeds, my beloved 
'earers, are what grow into clover, or new-land hay ; they come hup 
arter the corn-crop, and when that is reaped, if an inquiring sports- 
man will examine the ground, he will see little green herbs, like 



?54 ffANDLBY CBOSS ; 

crow's feet, shooting hup 'mong the stubble, which rear themselves 
into stalks with expandin' leaves ; and those glorious pink and white 
balls, called clover, wot smell so fragrantly as one loiters pensively 
along the shady dusty lanes. 

" Now, if the iron-shod 'unter careers over these young and tender 
plants, leavin' his copyright behind him, and it comes wet shortly 
arter, the standin' water perishes the plants, and leaves the farmer to 
water his bed with tears and lamentation. Oh, miserable bunch- 
clod ! 

" So it is with wheat. If you see a field nicely laid away, the 
surface all smooth, and the furrows all open, you may conclude that 
is wheat, even though the tender green blades — the promissory notes 
of life's comin' year, are not yet apparent. Some labour 'ard to 
make themselves believe that it increases the crop to ride over it, and 
many a hargument I've held with farmers in favour of that position 
myself, but no man, who treats himself to a little undisguised truth, 
can make himself believe so, unless, indeed, he is satisfied that a 
drove of hoxen would improve the prospects of a flower-garden by 
passin' a night in frolicsome diwersion. The wheat-field is the 
farmer's flower-garden ! — It is to it that he looks for the means of 
payin' his rent, and giving his hamiable wife and accomplished dar- 
ters a new piannet, and a scarlet welwet bonnet a-piece, with a black 
feather drooping over the left hear (Mr. Jorrocks looking slyly at 
Mrs. J. as he said this) ; and young and heedless men, if even they 
Aave no compassion on the old cock-farmer, should think what dis- 
i ress they will cause to the hens if they lose their scarlet welwet 
b :>nnets with the appurtenances. Some wags say that wheat is called 
'ard corn, because it stands a wast of ridin' over ; but I maintains 
tb at it no more means that, than that 'ard-money currency means 
* money 'ard to get at,' — or that an 'ard rider means a man wot will 
trot down 'Olborn 'ill on a frosty mornin'. Let every feelin' man, 
then, consider, when he is about to ride over wheat, that he is about 
to trample under foot scarlet welwet bonnets, and with them the 
fa rmer's darters' best and tenderest 'opes. 

" And here let me observe, that I cannot help thinkin' that that 
ce lebrated man, Gambado, has been the unconscious means of many 
a field of wheat being trampled down. When such great men talk 
lightly on a subject, little minds catch the infection, and far outstrip 
the author's most sanguinary conceptions. 

" Speaking in laudatory terms of the merits of the dray 'oss— 
merits that no one will deny — Gambado talks of the figure they are 
calculated to make on the road or in the field. ' Scarce any of them,' 
says he, * but is master of thirty stone and hupwards ! ' (Roars of 
laughter.) ' "What a sublime scene would it be,' continues he, ' to see 
fourscore or a 'underd of these hanimals on the full stretch over a 
piece of wheat, to catch sight of an 'ound ! ' (Roars of laughter.) 

" Gentlemen," continued Mr. Jorrocks, looking very irate, " I'm 



OR, MR. JORROCKS'S HUNT. 256 

sorry for your mirth — (hisses and laughter) — shocked at your 
immorality, in fact ! — Dash my vig if I arn't ! " (Renewed laughter 
and cheers.) 

" Such undecent mirth would disgrace a Cockney ! A Cockney 
looks upon a farmer as an inferior crittur ! — a sort of domestic con- 
wict, transported far beyond the bills o' mortality, and condemned to 
wander in 'eavy 'ob-nailed shoes amid eternal hacres o' dirt and 
dandylions. I 'opes such is not your opinion. — (Loud cries of "No, 
no," and cheers.) I'm glad sich wickedness finds no response here." 
Mr. Jorrocks again retired, and recomposed himself with another 
draught of brandy and water. 



" Now," said he, licking his lips, as he returned to the front of the 
platform ; " let ingenuous youth suppose himself at the meet, and that 
he has been presented to the M.F.H., to whom the greatest respect 
and reverence should always be paid, for there's no man to compare 
to him i' point o' greatness. The meet is the place for lettin' off 
the f ulminatin' balls of wit ; but unless young green'orn be a toler- 
ably jawbacious sort of chap, he had better be a listener at first. 
There are a few stock jokes that do for any country, the ready 
appliance of which stamps the user as a wag or a sportsman among 
those who don't know no better. 'Dear sir,' says one mac to 
another, ridin' a white-faced 'oss, ' I fears your nag is werry bad ! ' 

" ' 'Ow so ? ' inquires t'other, all alarm. 

" * Yy, he's all vite in the face ! ' (" Haw ! haw ! haw ! ") 

11 ' Yours is an expensive nag, I see,' observes a second. 

" ' Not more than other people's,' is the answer. 

" ' Yes, he is ; for I see he wears boots as well as shoes, pointing 
to speedy-cut boots. 

" ' 'Ave I lost a shoe in coming ? ' inquires a gentleman, who with 
a late start has come in a hurry. 

" ' They're not all on before ! ' exclaims half-a-dozen woices, ready 
with the joke. 

" ' Does you're mother know you are out ? ' is a familiar inquiry that 
may be safely hazarded to a bumptious boy in a jacket. ' More dirt 
the less hurt ! ' is a pleasant piece o' consolation for a friend with a 
mud mask ; and ' One at a time, and it will last the longer ! ' is a 
knowin' exclamation to make to a hundred and fifty friends w T aiting 
for their turns at an 'unting- wicket. * Over you go ; the longer you 
look the less you'll like it ! ' may be 'ollo'd to a friend lookin' long at 
a fence. ' Hurry no man's cattle ! you may keep a donkey yourself 
some day ! ' is the answer to the last. When you see a lawyer 
floored, sing out, ' There's an 'oss a layin' down the law ! ' If a 
chap axes if your nag will jump timber, say, ' He'll leap over your 
'ead.' These, and sich as these, are your tickets for soup, as the cook 
said when she basted the scullion with the hox-tail ! (Loud laughter.) 



256 HANDLET CROSS; 

" Flattery is easier accomplished than wit, and the meet is a place 
where butter, with a little knowledge, will go a long way. All 
masters of 'ounds like praise. Some are so fond on it, that they 
butter themselves. If you see 'ounds' ribs, and their loins are well 
filled and flanks hollow, you may say they look like their work ; if 
they're fat, say they are werry even in condition ; if lean, that they 
look like goin' a bust ; if jest noways in 'ticklar, you can't get wrong 
if you say, you never saw a nicer lot. If you see some with clips on 
the hears, or along the backs, you may conclude they are new comers, 
and ax where they are from. Rich coloured 'ounds you may liken to 
the Belvoir, and then you can talk of Goodhall and Guider, or of the 
Quorn Trueman, or even go back as far as Furrier and Hosbaldeston ; 
and swear you never saw sich legs and feet ; in short, let legs and 
feet, or legs and loins, be the burthen of your song. Beware of callin' 
'ounds dogs, or sterns tails. Sich a slip would make the M.F.II. turn 
tail on you directly. 

" It looks werry knowin' to take a bit o' biscuit out of your pocket, 
as you are lookin' over the 'ounds, and make them rise on their hind 
legs to receive it, while you scrutinise them werry attentively. This 
is a most scientific proceedin' and will immediately stamp you as a 
werry knowin' 'and, if not for an M.F.H. himself. Still let your talk 
be of legs and loins, with an occasional mention of helbows and 
shoulders. Perfection! symmetry! 'andsome! level! bone! breedin'I 
condition ! Lord 'Enry ! Sir Richard, Sir Tatton, Mr. Jorrocks, — 
are terms that may be thrown in at random, jest as the butter seems 
to go down. If, however, ingenuous youth's afraid o' bein' tempted 
out of his depth, it's a safe wentur to look werry approvinly at the 
pack generally, and then say that * they're larger nor some he has 
seen, and not so large a» others.' (Laughter.) In sayin' this, it 
may p'raps be well jest to feel his 'oss with the spur, so as to make 
him wince, which will give him an excuse for withdrawin' on the 
score o' being afear'd o' kickin' the 'ounds, and save him from bein' 
axed to name the larger or smaller packs he's seen, which might be 
inconwenient. 

" 'Untsmen are either 'eaven-born or hidiots — there's no medium. 
Every schoolboy can criticise their performance. It's 'stonishin' how 
quickly 'untsmen are run up and down, jest like the funds, with the 
bulls and the bears. As no M. F. H. keeps what he considers a fool, 
it may be well to commence in the soapy line ; for even though a 
master may abuse a servant himself, he may not fancy his field doing 
io too. 

"At the meet, every man's time is accordin' to his own con- 
wenience. Should he have been too early, the hounds have come 
late ; and should he be late, the 'ounds were there afore their time. 
The last man always says that there's no one else comin', as in course 
he does not see the wit of waitin' after he arrives. 

u Among the many followers of the chase, there be some men wot 



OR, MR. JOMBOCKS'S HUNT. 257 

start with wot seems like a good mould-candle passion for the 
chase, but, somehow or other, after a few seasons, it simmers down to 
little better nor a fardin' rushlight. After the first brush of the 
thing is over, they begin to economise their 'osses in November, that 
they may have them fresh about Christmas ; or they don't work 
them much in February, as they wish to save a couple to take to 
town in the spring ; or tool their missesses about in the Booby 
Hutch. Yen I hear chaps talk this way, I always reckon upon seein' 
their coats nailin' the happle-trees up afore long. 

" Some are much greater 'oss coddles than others. When Tat 
wrote to Ferguson to know vot he wanted for 'Arkaway, and whether 
the 'oss was in work, Ferguson replied, ' The price of 'Arkaway is six 
thousand guineas, and I 'unts him twice and thrice a-week ! ' (roars 
of laughter). 

" Some men keep servants to be their masters. 

" * I shall ride the roan, to-morrow, Jones,' says a gen'lman to his 
grum. 

" * Can't, sir ; just given him a dose o' physic' 

" ' "Well, then, the black. He's not been out since yesterday 
week 

" ' His turn's not till Toosday.' 

" ' Oh, never mind ! Just let me have a look at him.' 

" ' Can't Stable's done up — not to be hopen till four ; so mizzle, 
master.' 

" In course these chaps have 'igh wages," continued Mr. Jorrocks, 
" or they couldn't 'ave such himperence. They are the bouys wot 
won't let their masters buy 'osses o' men o' my woracity and judg- 
ment, unless they 'ave their * reglers,' five per cent, on the price, or as 
much more as they can get. A man wot would be master of his 
stable, must never consult his grum about a quad. Consult 'im for- 
sooth ! " exclaimed Mr. Jorrocks. " Why, there is not one grum i' 
fifty that knows when an 'oss he has the care on is lame. They'll go 
slouchin' to cover on 'osses that their masters pronounce lame the 
moment they mount. A man with a strong bouy and a hash-plant is 
generally master of his stud ; a master with a bouy and no hash-plant 
is like a fiddle without a stick. 

" More 'osses are ruined from want o' work than from the excess 
on't. Take a season through, and 'ow werry few days there are on 
which there is really any thing for gen'l'men's 'osses to do ; though, 
to be sure, such days generally come in a heap ; yet, as no one can 
say how long a run o' luck will last, my adwice is, to keep goin' a? 
long as ever you can. A man can get but six days a-week if he labours 
ever so, and there are werry few wot would not rayther have four, 
or maybe two. The flash o' ridin' long distances to meet one pack 
of 'ounds, when another's at 'and, arises from the pleasure of sportin' 
a red coat through a longer line o' country, and vinkin' at the gals on 
the road, or from a desire to be talked of as bavin' dune so, anJ 



268 HANDLEY CROSS; 

as being werry keen 'ands. I generally find them werry great 
fools ! 

" There is another way that would-be sportsmen have of showin' 
their keenness. Durin' a storm it is not unusual for the M.F.H. to 
advertise that th' 'ounds will meet at the kennel the first day the 
weather permits. Well, as soon as ever the eves begin to drop, the 
would-bes put on their red coats and go to the kennel, continuin' the 
process day after day until the thaw really arrives ; they throw up, 
and swear they von't 'unt with him any more. 

" ' Not hung yourself yet, Gilhespie ? ' suitin' the haction to the 
word by feelin' your neck and cockin' your thumb under your hear, 
is a fine sportin' interrogatory to put to a frind in the street durin' a 
frost. All these mendacious means let ingenuous youth despise. It's 
one thin' to cover your hignorance and another to help you to im- 
perance. I does the former only. 

" And now," continued the worthy lecturer, casting his eyes up to 
his canopied curtain, as he jingled the silver in his canary-coloured 
shorts, " And now, if I had a few words 'bout cost, 'bout old £ s. d., 
I think I'd be ready for a start. The cost of 'unting, my beloved 
'earers, like all other things, depends a'most entirely on 'ow you go 
about it. The only really indispensable outlay is the subscription to 
the 'ounds, which ought always to be paid punctual in adwance, 
jest like you 'ave to pay the stakes at a race. Whoever wants, 
the M. F. H. should be paid. Prudence and 'conomy are all 
right and proper in everything 'cept 'unting. For 'unting there 
must be a liberal outlay, and no grumblin'. Mus'nt do like dirty 
Harry Tight, who, when Fleecy axed wot he would subscribe to my 
'ounds, exclaimed, ' Subscribe ! I wouldn't insult Mr. Jorrocks by 
offerin' of him money ! ' " (Laughter and hisses.) " Insult," ex- 
claimed Mr. Jorrocks, looking very irate, " jest as if I was a likely 
man to be insulted with the hoffer of money. Much more likely to 
insult 'im for not offerin' it." (Laughter and applause.) 

" Well, then, the requirements o' the master bein' satisfied," con- 
tinued Mr. Jorrocks, buttoning up and slapping his breeches' -pocket, 
" let ingenuous youth turn his 'tention to the stable. It's no use 
givin' a publican and sinner a guinea or five-and-twenty shillings a- 
week for keepin' your quadrupeds, when you can rent a stable and 
keep them yourself for ten or twelve shillin'. There's not even the 
benefit of any flash i' the thing, which is wot moves many men to 
the 'orrors o' the chase. Still less use is it wastin' your substance on 
old Bonnyface's 'ouse, with his sixpenny breakfasts for 'alf-a-crown, 
and dinners i' like proportion, when you can get a comfey rumph 
lodgin' and find yourself for 'alf or a third o' the money. There are 
no people want puttin' to rights so much as the innkeepers. Kiver 
'acks are all gammon for men wi' short studs. An 'ack can do nothin' 
but 'ack, while he will cost as much as a third 'oss wot will both 'ack 
iud 'unt. Let ingenuous youth then learn to dispense with the use- 



OR, MR. JORROCKS'S HUNT. 269 

less appendage. I often think," continued Mr. Jorrocks musingly, 
" that it would be a capital thing to pass ingenuous youth generally 
through a sort of Chobharn camp to learn 'em wot they can really do 
without. 

" Ingenuous youth, 'aving now got all the implements o' the chase 
scraped together, and the early rains of dear delightful November — 
the best and plisantest month i' the year — 'aving well salivated the 
ground, forthwith let 'im put all my precepts in practice, istead o' 
sneakin' off to Boulogne or Paris for the winter, arter talkin' 'bout 
the delights of 'unting all the summer. 

" ' Time trieth troth,' says the proverb, but ' November trieth 
truth ' i' the 'unting line, and men that don't like 'unting, had much 
better not give themselves the tiouble of pretendin' they do, for 
they're sure to be found out, and branded for 'umbugs for their 
trouble. It's a werry rum thing 'ow few men there are who candidly 
say they don't like it. They've all been keen sportsmen at some 
time or other o' their lives. Every man," continued Mr. Jorrocks, 
sententiously, " wot prefers his 'ealth to the interests o' the Seidletz 
pooder makers, will get as much 'unting as ever he can afore Christ- 
mas." (Great laughter and applause.) " So now let's be doin' ! " 
added he, rubbing his elbows against his sides as if anxious for the 
fray. 

" Let us s'pose the last, last fumigatin' piece o' conceit has cast up, 
and the M.F.H. gives the hoffice to the 'untsman to throw off. 'Osses' 
'eads turn one way, th' 'ounds brisk up at the move, the coffee-room 
breaks up, frinds pair off to carry out jokes, while the foot people fly 
to the 'ills, and the bald-'eaded keeper stands 'at in 'and at the gate, 
to let th' 'ounds into cover. 

11 Eleu in ! " at length cries the 'untsman, with a wave of his 'and, 
and in an instant his 'osses' 'eels are deserted. The vipper-in has 
scuttled round the cover, and his rate and crack are 'eard on the far 
side. * Gently, Conqueror ! Conqueror, have a care ! Ware are ! 
ware are ! ' " 

*♦*♦♦* 

Here Mr. Jorrocks paused, apparently for the purpose of recollect- 
ing something. 

" There's a bit o' potry due here," observed he ; " but somehow or 
other it von't come to halloo ! 

1 Great, glorious, and free, 
First flower o' the kocean, first "' 

continued he. " No, that von't do, that was old Dan's dodge. Yet 
it's somethin' like that, too ; can no one help me ? Ah, I have it : — 

' Delightful scene I 
When all around is gay, men, 'osses, dogs ; 
And in each smilin' countenance appears 
Fresh bloomin' 'ealth, and uniwersal jojr.' 



260 HANDLE Y GEO 88; 

H And yet that's not exactly the place it should have come in at 
nouther," observed Mr. Jorrocks, recollecting himself ; " that scrap 
is meant for the meet ; throwin' off is thus described by Peter Beck- 
ford, or some other genTman wot described it to him. Howsomever 
it von't do to waste a cotation, so you can jest joggle t'other one 
back in your minds to the right place. This is throwin' off : — 

' See 1 'ow they range 
Dispersed, 'ow busily this way and that, 
They cross, examinin' with curious nose 
Each likely 'aunt. 'Ark ! on the drag I 'ear 
Their doubtful notes, preludin' to a cry 
More nobly full, and swelled with every mouth.' 

" Now that's poetry and sense too," observed Mr. Jorrocks, smack- 
ing his lips ! " which is more than poetry always is ; for a poet, you 
see, has to measure his words, and werry often the one that would 
best express vot he vonts von't fit in with t'others, so he's obliged to 
halter his meanin' altogether, or mount a lame steed. For my part 
I likes prose best, and I reckon Peter's prose better nor most men's 
werse. Hear 'ow he finds his fox." Mr. Jorrocks then took his 
newly-bound Beckford from the table at the back of the platform, and 
read as follows : — 

" ' 'Ow musical their tongues ! And as they get near to him, 'ow 
the chorus fills ! 'Ark ! he is found. Now, vere are all your sorrows 
and your cares, ye gloomy souls ! or where your pains and aches, ye 
complainin' ones ! one holloo has dispelled them all. Yot a crash they 
make ! and hecho seeminly takes pleasure to repeat the sound. The 
'stonished traveller forsakes his road ; lured by its melody, the 
listenin' ploughman now stops his plough, and every distant shepherd 
neglects his flock, and runs to see him break. Yot joy I vot heager- 
ness in every face ! ' 

" Now," said Mr. Jorrocks, smacking his lips again, " that's what 
I call real prime stuff — the concentrated essence of 'untin' — the XXX 
of sportin', so different from the wire-spun, wishy-washy yarns of 
modern penny-a-liners, who smother their meanin' (if they have any) 
in words. If I've read Peter once, I've read him a hundred times, 
and yet I finds somethin' fresh to admire every time. Wernor and 
Hood, Birchin Lane, published this edition in 1796 ; and on the 
title-page is pasted a hextract from a newspaper that would adorn a 
monument. * Monday, 8th March, 1811, at his seat, Stapleton, in 
Dorsetshire, Peter Beckford, Esq., aged 70. Mr. Beckford was a 
celebrated fox-'unter, and hauthor of ' Letters on 'unting.' There's 
an inscription for a marble monument ! ' Multum in parvo,' as 
Pomponius Ego would say. Blow me tight ! but I never looks at Billy 
Beckford supplicatin' the king on his marble monument in Guildhall, 
but I exclaims, ' Shake Billy from his pedestal ami set up Peter 1 ' " 
^Hisses and applause.; 



OR, MB. JOBBOCKS'S HUNT. 261 

" I once wrote my epitaph, and it was werry short, — 

' Hie jacet Jorrocks,' 

was all wot I said ; but the unlettered 'untsman, or maybe M.F.H., 
might pass me by, jest as he would a dead emperor. Far different 




AH ! it's talli-ho back ! " 



would it be should this note follow, — ' Mr. J. was a celebrated fox- 
'unter, and lectorer upon 'unting.' Then would the saunterin' sports- 
man pause as he passed, and drop a tribute to the memory of one who 
loved the chase so well. But I'm gettin' prosaic and off the line. 
Let us 'ark back into cover ! The chase, I sings ! Let's see. 
" We had jest found our fox. Well, then, let's at Peter again, for 



262 EANDLEY CROSS; 

there's no one boils one hup into a gallop like him. Here's a 
description of the thief o' the world afore he breaks." Mr. Jorrocke 
reads : — 

" ' Mark 'ow he runs the cover's hutmost limits, yet dares not 
wentur forth ; the 'ounds are still too near ! That check is lucky 1 
Now, if our frinds 'ead him not, he will soon be off ! ' 

" Talli-ho !"- screamed Mr. Jorrocks, at the top of his voice. 
" Dash my vig, that's the cry 1 " continued he, holding his hand in 
the air. " See 'ow pale the gen'leman in light scarlet and bishop's 
boots is turnin', and how delighted old Jack Rasper, in the cut-away 
olive, broad cords, and hoganys is ; his low-crowned 'at's in the hair, 
for he sees the warmint, a sight more glorious nor the lord mayor's 
show ; yet he 'olloas not ! Ah, it's talli-ho back ! The fox is 'eaded 
by yon puppy in purple, strikin' a light on the pommel of his saddle. 
'Ope he'll soon be sick ! Th' 'ounds turn short, and are at him again. 
Have at him, my beauties ! Have at him, my darlin's ! Have at 
him, I say ! Yonder he goes at t'other end ! — now he's away ! Old 
Rasper has him again ! * Talli-ho, away 1 ' he cries. The old low- 
crowned 'at's in the hair, and now every man 'oops and 'olloas to the 
amount of his superscription. Twang I tivang ! twang ! goes the 
Percival ; crack ! crack ! crack ! go the whips ; 'ounds, 'osses, and 
men, are in a glorious state of excitement ! Full o' beans and 
benevolence 1 " 

" So am I, my beloved 'earers," observed Mr. Jorrocks, after a 
pause ; " and must let off some steam, or I shall be teachin' you to 
over-ride the 'ounds." So saying, Mr. Jorrocks retired to the back of 
the platform, and cooled himself with a fresh glass of hot brandy and 
water. Presently he returned, and thus resumed his discourse. 

" Oh ! my beloved 'earers, if I'd been at the great Mr. Pomponius 
Hego's helbow when in describin' this critical period of the chase he 
penned the words, * go along, there are three couple of 'ounds on the 
scent,' I'd ha' seen if I couldn't ha' got him to put in * now 'old your 
jaws, and 'old 'ard ! and let em settle quietly to the scent.' Believe 
me, my beloved 'earers, the words ' go along, there are three couple of 
'ounds on the scent,' have lost many a run and saved the life of many 
a warmint. 'Ow I likes to see the 'ounds come quietly out, settlin* 
and collectin' together, gradually mending their pace as they go, till 
they brew up a reg'lar bust. That's the way to make the foxes cry 
* Capevi ! ' " added he. (Laughter and applause.) 

" Here let me hobserve," continued Mr. Jorrocks, " that it's a 
grand thing for ingenuous youth to get a view of the warmint at 
startin' ! by so doing he gets a sort of wested interest in the fox, and 
rides arter him as he would arter a thief with his watch. There's a 
knack in doin' this, and some men are cleverer at it than others, but 
half the battle consists in not being flurried — * Yonder he goes ! 
yonder he goes ! Talli-ho 1 talli-ho ! ' exclaim a dozen people, 
pointin' different ways — and hearin' that a fox is a quick travellin' 



OR, MR. JORROCKS'S HUNT. 2tt 

boast, ingenuous youth begins to look some half-a-mile a-head ; 
whereas, if the people were to cry ' Here he is ! here he is ! ' pointin' 
downwards, Spooney would take a nearer range, and Be* that e fox 
travels more like a cat nor a crow. Folks overlook the fox, iesi as onb 
overlooks a mustard-pot under one's nosfc. 

" Well, then, my beloved 'earers, glorious talli-ho ! talli-ho I — whose 
very echo kivers me all over with the creeps — is holloaed and repeated, 
and responded and re-echoed, and th' 'ounds are settlin' to the scent. 
As soon as ever you 'ear the cry, make up your minds either to go on 
or go 'ome. But I won't s'pose that any man will stop stirrin' till 
the puddin's done ; at all ewents, not till he sees a fence, so thrust 
your 'eads well into your 'ats, tighten your reins, 'arden your 'earts, 
and with elbows and legs, elbows and legs, get forrard to the 'ounds." 
Mr. Jorrocks suiting the action to the word, straddling and working 
an imaginary horse with his arms. 

" Now we are away ! The cover's wacated, and there's not another 
within four miles, which courtesy will call fourteen ! Yich vay's the 
vind ? South-east, as I live. Then he's away for Brammelkite 
Brake ! Now for your topographical dictionaries, or, vot is still 
better, some gemman with a map of the country in his 'ead. The 
field begins to settle into places, like folks at the play. If there's no 
parson to pilot the way, genTmen with 'osses to sell take the first 
rank. Every one now sees who are there, and many may be wantin' 
at the end to tell who come in so ; a rasper well negotiated at this 
time o' day has sold many a screw. After the genTmen with 'osses 
to sell comes the 'untsman, entreatin' the genTmen with 'osses to 
sell not to press upon the 'ounds ; but as he only talks to their backs, 
they regard the exhortation as a mere figure o' speech. The top- 
sawyers of the 'unt will be close on the 'untsman. There will not be 
many of these ; but should there be a barrack in the neighbourhood, 
some soger officers will most likely mex up and ride at the 'ardest 
rider among 'em. The dragon soger officer is the most dangerous, 
and may be known by the viskers under his nose. A foot soger 
officer's 'oss is generally better in his wind than on his legs. They 
generally wear chin wigs, and always swear the leaps are nothin' com- 
pared with those in the county they came from — Cheapside, p'raps. 

" In the wake of the top-sawyers and soger officers will come your 
steady two 'oss men, their eyes to the 'ounds, their thoughts in the 
chase, regardless of who crams or who cranes. These generally wear 
cords, their viskers are greyish, and their brown top-boots look as if 
they have never been wite. 

" The ' safe pilot ' is generally a man with a broad back, clad in 
bottle-green, with plain metal buttons, white neckcloth, striped 
veskit, drab kerseys, with ribbons danglin' over a 'hogany top ; or 
may be in the scarlet coat of the 'unt, with a hash-plapt, to denote 
that he is a gate-opener, and not a leaper : a man of this sort will 
pilot a youngster all day without ridin' over a fence. He knows 



264 HANDLEY CROSS; 

every twist, every turn, every gate, every gap, in the country, and 
though sometimes appearin' to ride away from the 'ounds, by skirtin' 
and nickin', will often gain Reynard's p'int afore them — p'raps afore 
Reynard himself ! 

" We must not follow him, but ' streak it ' across the country a 
bit, as brother Jonathan would say, and this is the time that, if 
ingenuous youth's 'oss has any monkey in him, he will assuredly get 
his dander up and show it. The commonest occurrence in all natur' 
is for him to run away, which is highly disagreeable. Geoffrey 
Gambado well observes, that when a man is well run away with, the 
first thing that occurs to him is how to stop his 'oss. Some will run 
him at a ditch, which is a werry promisin' experiment, if he leaps ill, 
or not at all ; others try a gate-post, but it requires a nice eye to hit 
the centre with the 'oss ? s 'ead, so as not to graze your own ]eg. 
Frenchmen — and Frenchmen ride as well now as they did in 
Gambado's time — will ride against one another ; and Geoffrey tells a 
good story of an ingenious Frenchman he saw make four experiments 
on Newmarket Heath, in only one of which he succeeded. His 'oss 
ran away with him whilst Gimcrack was runnin' a match, and the 
Count's 'opes of stoppin' him being but small, he contrived to turn 
him across the course and rode slap at Gimcrack, 'opin' to effect it by 
a broadside ; but Gimcrack was too quick for the Count, and he 
missed his aim. He then made full at Lord March, but unluckily 
only took him slantin': baffled in this second attempt, the Count 
relied on the Devil's Ditch as a certain check to his career, but his 
'oss carried him clean over ; and had not the rubbin'-house presented 
itself, the Count asserted he werily believed he should soon have 
reached London. Dashin' at the rubbin'-'ouse, with true French 
spirit, he produced the desired effect ; his 'oss, not being able to 
proceed, stopped, and that so suddenly that Ducrow himself would 
have kissed his own saw-dust. The Count, it is true, came off but 
tolerably well ; the 'oss broke his 'ead and the Count's likewise, so 
that, accordin' to the opinion of two negatives makin' an affirmative, 
little or no 'arm was done, an ingenious, if not a satisfactory, mode 
of disposin' of damage. 

" And here let me observe, that to 'unt pleasantly two things are 
necessary — to know your 'oss and to know your own mind. An 'oss 
is a queer critter. In the stable, on the road, or even in a green 
lane, he may be all mild and hamiable — jest like a gal you're a 
courtin' of — but when he gets into the matrimony of the 'unting-field 
among other nags, and sees th' 'ounds, which always gets their 
danders up, my vig ! it's another pair of shoes altogether, as we say 
in France. Howsomever, if you know your 'oss and can depend 
upon him, so as to be sure he will cany you over whatever you put 
him at, have a good understandin' with yourself afore ever you come 
to a leap, whether you mean to go over it or not, for nothing looks so 
pusillanimous as to see a chap ride bang at a fence as though he 



OB, MB. JOBBOCKS'S HUNT. 265 

would eat it, and then swerve off for a gate or a gap. Better far to 
charge wiggorously, and be chucked over by the 'oss stoppin' short, 
for the rider may chance to light on his legs, and can look about 
unconsarnedly, as though nothing parti cklar had 'appened. . I'm no 
advocate for leaping but there are times when it can't be helped, in 
which case let a man throw his 'eart fearlessly over the fence and 
follow it as quick as ever he can, and being well landed, let him 
thank Providence for his luck, and lose no time in lookin' for the 
best way out. Thus he will go on from leap to leap, and from field 
to field, rejoicin' ; and havin' got well over the first fence, it's 
'stonishin' 'ow fearlessly he charges the next. Some take leapin'- 
powder — spirits of some sort — but it's a contemptible practice, 
unworthy of ingenuous youth. 

"The finest receipt, however, for makin' men ride is shakin' a 
sportin' hauthor afore them at startin'. Crikey ! 'ow I've seen 'em 
streak across country so long as he remained in sight ! Coves wot 
wouldn't face a water-furrow if they had had their own way, under 
the impulse of glory, will actually spur their steeds ! 

"Gentlemen wot take their ideas of 'unting from Mr. Hacker- 
mann's pictor-shop in Regent's Street must have rum notions of the 
sport. There you see red laps flyin' oat in all directions, and 'osses 
apparently to be had for catchin'. True, that in 'unting men will 
roll about — but so they will on the road ; and I'd rayther have two 
bumps in a field than one on a pike. Danger is everywhere ! An 
accomplished frind o' mine says, * Impendet omnibus periculum ' — 
Danger 'angs over an omnibus : and ' Mors omnibus est communis,' 
— You may break your neck in an omnibus: but are we, on that 
account, to shun the wehicle of which the same great scholar says, 
* Wirtus parvo pretio licet ab omnibus,' — Wirtue may ride cheap in 
an omnibus ? Surely not ! 

"Still, a fall's a hawful thing. Fancy a great sixteen 'and 'oss 
lyin' on one like a blanket, or sittin' with his monstrous hemispheres 
on one's chest, sendin' one's werry soul out o' one's nostrils 1 
Dreadful thought ! Vere's the brandy ? " Hereupon Mr. Jorrocks 
again retired to the back of the platform to compose his nerves. 

"Now, my beloved 'earers," continued he, returning and wiping 
his mouth on the back of his hand, — " Now, my beloved 'earers, let's 
draw on old Peter for a run, for I really think a good suck of 'im is 
A'most as good as a tuck out at the Ship and Turtle Tavern. 

" Here we 'ave 'im," continued Mr. Jorrocks, opening at the place, 
and proceeding to read with all due energy and emphasis ; " ' Mind, 
Galloper, 'ow he leads them ? It's difficult to 'stinguish which is 
first, they run in such good style ; yet he is the foremost 'ound. 
The goodness of his nose is not less excellent than his speed : — 'ow 
he carries the scent ! and when he loses it, see 'ow eagerly he flings 
to recover it again ! There — now he's at 'ead again 1 See 'ow they 
ivy the 'edge I Now, now they mount the 'ill 1— Observe wot a 'ead 



266 HAND LET CROSS; 

they carry ; and show me, if thou canst, one shuffler or shirker 
'niongst 'em all : are they not like a parcel of brave fellows, who, 
when they 'gage in an undertaking determine to share its fatigue and 
its dangers equally 'mongst 'em ? ' 

" Capital ! " exclaimed Mr. Jorrocks, smacking his lips. " Excellent 
indeed. That's jest precisely like my 'ounds. 

" Dash my vig, if I could but get a clever feller like Leech to draw 
me a panorama o' the chase, with all my beauties goin' like beans — 
'eads up and sterns down, and a lot o' trumps ridin' as they should 
do — near enough to 'ear their sweet music, but not too near to 
prevent their swingin' and spreadin' like a rocket to make their own 
cast, I'd — I'd — I'd — bowl Halbert Smith and his wite mountain and 
his black box right down Sin Jimses Street into the Thames, and set 
hup i' the 'Giptian 'AH myself." (Great laughter and applause.) 
When it subsided, Mr. Jorrocks, returning to bis volume, said, 

" Peter now does a little potry, and we'll do ditto. Here it is : — 

" ' Far o'er the rocky 'ills we range, 



And dangerous our course ; but in the brave 
True courage never fails. In wain the stream 
In foamin' eddies whirls, in wain the ditch 
Wide gapin' threatens death. The craggy steep, 
Where the poor dizzy shepherd crawls with care, 
And clings to every twig, gives us no pain ; 
But down we sweep, as stoops the falcon bold 
To pounce his prey. Then hup the opponent 'ill 
By the swift motion slung, we mount aloft ; 
So ships i' winter seas now slidin' sink 
Adown the steepy wave, then tossed on 'igh 
Bide on the billows and defy the storm.' 

" That's capital, too," observed Mr. Jorrocks, conning the matter 
over, " werry superior readin', indeed, but some 'ow or other, I thinks 
I likes old Peter better ; it comes more nattural like. 'Ere, for 
instance, is a bit o' fine sportin' scenery, that makes one feel all over, 
'unting like." 

Mr. Jorrocks then read as follows : — 

" ' It was then the fox I saw, as we came down the 'ill ; — those 
crows directed me which way to look, and the ship ran from 'im aa 
he passed along. The 'ounds are now on the werry sp^t yet the 
ship stop them not, for they dash beyond them. Now see wiLL wot 
heagerness they cross the plain ! — Galloper no longer keeps his place ; 
Brusher takes it — see 'ow he flings for the scent, and 'ow impetuously 
he runs ! 'Ow heagerly he took the lead, and 'ow he strives to keep 
it. Yet Wictor comes hup apace. He reaches 'im ! See wot an 
excellent race it is between them ! It is doubtful which will reach 
the cover first. 'Ow equally they run ! 'Ow heagerly they strain ! 
Now, Wictor — Wictor ! — Ah, Brusher, you are beaten ; Wictor first 



OR, MR. JORROCKS'S RJNT. 26* 

tops the 'edge. See there ! See 'ow they all take in their strokes 1 
The 'edge cracks with their weight, so many jump at once.' 

" Capital, indeed," exclaimed Mr. Jorrocks ; " most excellent, I 
may say. All sheer 'unting — no nasty jealous stipple chase ridin', 
'urryin 'ounds a mile beyond the scent. No * go-along 's ! there are 
three couple of 'ounds on the scent,' but real ' Fox et preteria nihil,* 
as Hego would say. Blow me tight, if such readin' doesn't parfectlie 
bast me," added he, again retiring to the brandy, amidst the loud and 
long-continued applause of the company. 



CHAPTER XXVIIL 

THE LECTOR RESUMED. 



" Well now," continued Mr. Jorrocks, returning, rubbing his lips 
preparatory to resuming his reading, " Peter does a bit o' cunnin', 
and I'll elucidate it. The fox you know's i' cover — Rashworth or 
'Tgh Wood Grove, let us say, and the thing is to take care that he 
doesn't slip away unseen — upon this Peter says, ' Now 'astes the 
wipper-in to the other side o' the cover ; he is right unless he 'ead 
the fox.' That's capital," observed Mr. Jorrocks, — "he's right unless 
he's wrong ; right one day p'raps, and wrong another, for he can't 
control the fox, who may fancy to break at one pint one day and 
another the next. Howsomever," mused our master, "that shows 
the adwantage o' havin some one to blow hup when things go wrong, 
and Cook — I think it is who tells of an M.F.H., who kept a wip on 
purpose to be blown hup, and who he used to make ride along side 
any ' go-along r' — there are three couple of 'ounds on the scent cove, 
while the M.F.H. lectored the man as if he had committed the ' fore- 
paw,' adding at the end, with a frown and a shake of his vip, (bad 
word), ' ye, sir, I may (bad word) you, at all ewents ! ' (Laughter 
and applause.) 

" But come, let's see wot our hauthor makes on 'im in cover," 
resumed Mr. Jorrocks, returning to his Beckford — "Peter's at the 
notry again, I declare," said he, clearing his throat for the follow- 
ing :— 

" • 'Eavens ! wot melodious strains ! 'ow beat our 'earts 
Big with tumultuous joy I the loaded gales 
Breathe 'armony ; and as the tempest drives 
From wood to wood, thro' ev'ry dark recess 
The forest thunders, and the mountains shake.' 

" Werry fine ! " exclaimed Mr. Jorrocks, turning up his eyes to 
the sporting looping qf his canopy, " werry fine indeed ! ' Th«, 

x2 



268 HANDLEY GROSS; 

forest thunders, and the mountains shake.' That's jest wot my 
beauties make them do. Dash my vig, but they kick hup a pretty 
dust when they once begin. But let us follow Peter into cover, for 
if his country was anything like wot it is now, he'd be pretty much 



41 i 



Listen ! the 'ounds have turned. They are now i' two parts : the 
fox has been 'eaded back.' The wip's been wrong/' observed 
Mr. Jorrocks, with a shake of his head, " or," continuing his reading, 
"'we have changed at last.' Changed at last," repeated Mr. Jor- 
rocks, sorrowfully, " bad luck to those changes," observed he, " they 
are the werry deuce and all in 'unting. Arter one's ridden oneself 
red 'ot, and nearly galloped one's oss's tail off, and think it's full time 
to be 'andlin' the warmint, to 'ave a gen'lman goin' away as fresh as 
a four-year-old. Dash my buttons, but I remembers a desp'rate 
cunnin' Charley," observed Mr. Jorrocks, " that used to go away from 
Ticklefield-gos, in Crampshire, and, arter runnin' a wide ring, would 
return and pashin' hup another fox, would lie quiet hisself. As it 
happened, 'owever, his substitute was a mangey one, and desp'rate 
disgusted we used to be at findin' we were ridin' arter a thing like a 
rat 'stead of a beautiful clean-furred Reynard. 

" But Peter," says Mr. Jorrocks, " 'opes to 'old on with the 'unted 
fox, and this is wot he says to his Ben " — Mr. Jorrocks reading — 
" ' Now, my lad, mind the 'untsman's alloo, and stop to those 'ounds 
which he encourages,' — which doesn't mean that the vip's to make a 
haffidavit that that's the 'untsman's alloo," continued he, looking 
knowingly at Ben, for a reason which will appear in Mr. Jorrocks's 
Journal, "but that he's to stop all such 'ounds as are not runnin' 
the way the 'untsman's ollooin' ; he's to maintain to the 'untsman's 
olloo in short, and stop sich 'ounds as diwide from it," explained 
Mr. Jorrocks. 

" Well, let's 'ave that sentence over again," said he, referring to 
his volume. 

"'Now, my lad, mind the 'untsman's halloo, and stop to those 
'ounds which he encourages.' He is right ! that doubtless is the 
'unted fox ; — that doubtless is the 'unted fox," repeated Mr. Jor- 
rocks, thoughtfully, — " ay," added he, " they're all the 'unted foxes 
that anybody sees. Howsomever, we'll take Peter's word for it, and 
at 'im again. Well now," continued the worthy lecturer, conning 
the page, " 'ere's a reg'lar yard and a 'alf o' potry, describin', wot 
Pomponious would call the ' second bust, almost as terrible as the 
fust ' — the difference atwixt Peter and Pompey, ye see, bein'," added 
Mr. Jorrocks, looking off the book, " that Peter is all for the pack, 
and Pompey for the performers, or ' customers,' as they call the 
crack riders i' the cut-me-downs. Howsomever," continued Mr. Jor- 
rocks, reverting to the poetry, "it's a prime sample of a sportin' 
scurry, and if I shalln't be fatiguein' on ye, I'll spout it." (Cries of 
" No, no, go on ; go on," and applause.) 



on, Mb. JORHOCKS'S SUNT. SOft 

Our great master then read as follows : — 

11 Wot lengths we pass 1 were will the wanderin' chact 
Lead us bewildered ! smooth as swallows skim, 
The new shorn mead, and far more swift we fl) 
See my brave pack ; 'ow to the 'ead they press, 
Jostlin' i' close array, then more diffuse 
Obliquely weel, wile from their hopenin' mouths 
The wollied thunder breaks — 

Look back and view 

The strange confusion of the wale below, 

Where sore wexation reigns ; 

Old age laments 



His wigour spent ; the tall, plump, brawny youth 
Cusses his cumbrous bulk and envies now 
The short pygmean race, he whilom kenn'd 
With proud insultin' leer. A chosen few 
Alone the sport enjoy, nor droop beneath 
Their pleasin' toils." 

Great applause followed the reading of the above. When it sub- 
sided, our master, taking the " Chase and Eoad " volume from the 
table at the back of the platform, said "let us jest take a peep at 
frind Pomponious under similar circumstances. 'The squire's 'ounds 
are runnin' with a brest-'igh scent over the cream of the cut-me- 
down country, and most musically do the light notes o' Wocal and 
Wenus fall on the ear of those who may be within reach to catch 'em. 
But who is so fortinate i' this second bust ' nearly as terrible as the 
fust ? ' asks Hego. ' Our fancy supplies us again,' says he, ' and we 
think we could name 'em all. If we look to the left, nearly abreast 
o' the pack, we see six men goin' gallantly, and quite as straight as 
the 'ounds themselves are goin' ; and on the right are four more, 
ridin' equally well, though the former 'ave rayther the best of it, 
owin' to 'avin' 'ad the inside o' the 'ounds at the last two turns, 
which must be placed to the chapter of haccidents. A short way i' 
the rear, by no means too much so to enjoy this brilliant run, 'are 
the rest o' the elite o' the field, who had come hup at the fust check ; 
and a few who, thanks to the goodness o' their steeds, and their 
determination to be with the 'ounds, appear as if dropped from the 
clouds. Some, 'owever, begin to show symptoms o' distress. Two 
osses are seen loose in the distance — a report is flyin' 'bout that one 
o' the field is badly 'urt, and somethin' is 'eard of a collar-bone bein' 
broken, others say it is a leg ; but the pace is too good to inquire. A 
crackin' o' rails is now 'eard, and one genTman's oss is to be seen 
restin', nearly balanced, 'cross one on 'em, his rider bein' on his back 
i' the ditch, which is on the landin'-side. ' Who is he ? ' says Lord 
Brudenel to Jack Stevens. * Can't tell, my lord ; but I thought it 
was a queerish place when I came o'er it afore 'im.' It is evidently 
a place o' peril, but the case is too good to 'ford 'elp. 



5270 HANDLEY GROSS; 

" So," continued Mr. Jorrocks, closing the volume with a clap, and 
chucking it to Pigg in the background, "they cut 'im down, but dorit 
'ang 'im up to dry." (Laughter and applause.) 

" 'Old 'Ard ! " now exclaimed Mr. Jorrocks at the top of his voice, 
advancing to the front of the platform, causing silence throughout 
the room. " 'Old 'Ard ! " repeated he, holding up his hand ; 
" appallin' sound ! " added he mournfully, " fearful to the forrard, 
and dispiritin' to all. Now's the time that the M.F.H., if he has 
any mischief in him and 'appens to be hup, will assuredly let drive at 
some one. 

""Old 'Ard,' explained the worthy lecturer, "means that genTmen 
are to stop their 'osses, a thing easier said than done, sometimes. 
Then if any troublesome stranger, or unpunctual payer, appears to be 
forrard, he is sure to catch it. 

" ' Thank you, Mr. Red Veskit ! ' or, ' I'm much obleged to that 
gen'l'man with the big calves for over-ridin' my 'ounds ! — werry much 
'bleged to him ! — most 'foc&larly 'bleged to him ! — most confoundedly 

'bilged to him ! — G — d d d 'bleged to him ! — Wish the devil had 

him, big calves and all ! ' 

" Meanwhile the 'untsman makes his cast, that's to say, trots his 
'ounds in a circle round where they threw up : ' threw up ' doesn't 
mean womitin' mind, but standin' starin' with their 'eads up, instead 
of keepin' them down, tryin' for the scent. As this is a critical 
moment, young genTmen should refrain from inwitin' the 'untsmen 
or whips to follow them over gates or dangerous leaps. All should 
be 'tentive. A cast is a thing to criticise, on the principle of the 
looker-on seein' the most of the game. If there are no big fences in 
the way, and the 'untsman knows how far the 'ounds ran with a scent, 
he will probably hit it off pretty soon. That will be science. 

" If the leaps are large, he may not be so lucky, and then Mr. Red 
Veskit, or the genTman with the big calves, will catch it again. 

" Should anyone 'int that they have seen a better cast, little bouys 
will go home and tell their ma's they don't think much of Jack 
Jones, and Jack's character will begin to go. A fish-fag's ware isn't 
more perishable than an 'untsman's fame ; his skill is within the 
judgment of every one — ' Cleverest feller alive ! ' — * Biggest fool 
goin' ! ' 

" But to the run I The Chass I sing ! A run is either a luster 
— elbows and legs throughout — or it is sharp at first, and slow arter- 
wards ; or it is slow at first and sharp arterwards. The first is wot 
most frequently finishes the fox ; and when every 'ound owns the 
scent, unless Old Reynard does the hartful dodge, by lyin' down in 
an 'edge-row, or skulkin' among cattle or ship, in all humane 
probability his life arn't worth twenty minutes purchase from the 
find. 

" The second class run — sharp at first and slow arterwards — is the 
most favourable to the fox ; for the longer it lasts, the slower the 



OM, Mtt. JOfillOCKS'S SUNT. 211 

'ounds go, until they get to wot the old Agony coachmen used to call 
Parliament-pace — that is to say, some six miles an 'our, when they 
are either run out o' scent, or a big 'are jumps up afore them, and 
leads them astray. It's then, * Ware are Wenus! Wictory y for shame!' 
and off 'ome. 

" The third class — slow at first, and sharp arterwards — is hawk- 
ward for the fox, but good for beginners, for they get warm in the 
progress, instead of being choked at the start. The thing improves, 
jest like a hice-cream i' the eatin'. 

" No two men 'gree upon the merits of a run, 'less they 'appen to 
be the only ones to see it, when they arrange that wot one says 
t'other shall swear to ; your real jealous bouys can't bear to see many 
at the finish. In relatin' a run to an absent friend, it is always 
allowable to lay on fifty per cent, for presence. 

" Talking of a run, ingenuous youth should speak in praise of the 
'ead the 'ounds carried. This doesn't mean that they ran with an 
'ead of no sort in their mouths, but that they packed well together, 
and each strived to be first. It is this wot distinguishes a real pack 
of fox-'ounds from your trencher-fed muggars, and constitutes the 
charm o' the chase. If the death of a fox be all that's desired, a 
gun will do the business much cleaner and better than Muggins and 
Co.'s towlers. 

" What looks so contemptible as a stringin' lot o' towlin' beggars 
toilin' in long line over the 'eavy fallows, and the fox gettin' knocked 
on the 'ead because the dogs are too tired to kill him themselves ? 
Out upon sich outrages ! say I. But to the legitimate run. 

" Not bein' in at the death is reckoned slow, and numerous are the 
excuses of defaulters — losin' a shoe is one of the commonest ; assistin' 
a friend in trouble, another ; 'oss falling lame, a third ; thrown out 
in turnin' 'ounds, a fourth ; anything but the real one — want o' 
nerve. Nerve means pluck : in Alderman Harley's time, they called 
it courage. Still it's quite lawful for men to 'unt, even though they 
won't ride over the moon. 'Deed you might as well say that a man 
has no business at Hepsom who can't ride a race, as that a man has 
no business at an 'unt that won't undertake to be in at the death. 
Let every man do his best, and grind away as long as he can ; at all 
ewents, until either he or his 'oss tire, or he gets thrown out, in 
which latter calamity let 'im remember the mustard-pot, and not go 
ridin' straight an end, as if it were unpossible for the 'ounds to turn 
to the right or to the left. Let him pull hup a bit on a risin' 
ground, and as he sits moppin' his nob, let 'im examine the land- 
scape, and see wot cattle are starin' or scampering about, and rely 
upon it, the 'ounds are not far off. If ingenuous youth, after ridin' 
the line, sees 'osses bein' led about a green field, and red coats 
itandin' in a ring, he may conclude bold Reynard is capevi'd, and, by 
quickenin' his pace, may steal quietly m afore the worry. 

"But we'll let old Peter kill his fox, for dash my vig, there's 



272 HANDLE Y GBOSS; 

nobody can do it like him. Let's see, where was I ? " continued 
Jorrocks, resuming that volume — " Ah, I have it, the fox has been 
'eaded or they have changed at last. — * Now for a moment's patience !' 
ories Peter, — ' We press too close upon the 'ounds ! 'Untsman, stand 
still ! as they want you not. 'Ow admirably they spread ! 'Ow wide 
they cast ! Is there a single 'ound that does not try ? if there be, 
ne'er shall he 'unt again. There Trueman is on the scent — he 
feathers, yet still is doubtful — 'tis right ! 'ow readily they join 'im ! 
See those wide-casting 'ounds, 'ow they fly forrard to recover the 
ground they 'ave lost ! Mind Lightnin\ 'ow she dashes ; and Mungo 
'ow he works ! Old Frantic, too, now pushes forrard ; she knows as 
well as we, the fox is sinkin' : — 

• Ah 1 he flies, nor yields 



To black despair. But one loose more and all 
His wiles are wain. 'Ark ! thro' yon willage now 
The rattlin' clamour rings. The barns, the cots. 
And leafless elms return the joyous sounds. 
Thro' ev'ry 'ome-stall, and thro' ev'ry yard, 
His midnight walks, pantin', forlorn, he flies/ 

"And, dash my vig, he makes me pant too," continued Mr. 
Jorrocks, holding his obese sides. " However, judicious Peter gives 
one a little breathin' time here, in these conwenient words : — 

" ' 'Untsman ! at fault at last ? 'Ow far did you bring the scent ? 
'Ave the 'ounds made their cast ? Now make yours — you see that 
ship-dog as coursed the fox ; get forrard with your 'ounds, and make 
a wide cast,' during ^lich time," continued the worthy lecturer, " we 
are all 'sposed to be sittin' quietly givin' our quads the wind, and all 
'oldin' our tongues — a most desirable thing," observed Mr. Jorrocks, 
looking knowingly round the room. 

" Peter, who 'as his ears well cocked with an 'and behind the right 
one," continued the worthy lecturer, " gives tongue with, — 

" ' 'Ark ! that halloo is indeed a lucky one. If we can 'old 'im 
on, we may yet recover 'im ; for a fox, so much distressed, must stop 
at last. We shall now see if they will 'unt as well as run ; for there 
is but little scent, and the himpendin' cloud still makes that little 
less. 'Ow they enjoy the scent ! see 'ow busy they all are, and 'ow 
each in his turn prewails ! ' 

" Capital writin' ! " exclaimed Mr. Jorrocks ; " feels for all the 
world as if I was there. Now for a bunch of 'ints for an 'untsman ! 

" ' 'Untsman ! be quiet ! Whilst the scent was good, you pressed 
on your 'ounds ; it was well done ; when you came to a check, you 
stood still and interrupted them not : they were arterwards at fault ; 
vou made your cast with judgment and lost no time — you now must 
.et 'em 'unt ; — with such a cold scent as this you can do no good ; 
they must do it all themselves ; lift 'em now, and not an 'ound will 
stoop again. Ha ! a 'igh road at sich a time as this, when the 



OR, MR. JORROCKS'S HUNT. 273 

tenderest nosed 'ound can 'ardly own the scent ; 'ave a little patience, 
and let 'em, for once, try back.' 

" Oh, that weary scent ! " exclaimed Mr. Jorrocks, " that weary 
incomprehensible, incontrollable phenomenon ! ' Constant only in its 
inconstancy ! ' as the hable hauthor of the noble science well said. 
.Believe me, my beloved 'earers," continued Mr. Jorrocks, " there's 
nothin' so queer as scent, 'cept a woman ! " (Hisses, mingled with 
laughter and applause.) 

" 'Ark to Beckford ! " exclaimed Mr. Jorrocks, resuming his read- 
ing as the noise subsided. " ' We must now give 'em time : — see 
where they bend towards yonder furze brake. I wish he may 'ave 
stopped there ! Mind that old 'ound, 'ow he dashes o'er the furze ; I 
think he winds 'im. Now for a fresh en tapis ! 'Ark ! they 'alloo ! 
Aye, there he goes.' 

" Pop goes the weasel again ! " exclaimed Mr. Jorrocks, straddling 
and working his arms, as if he were riding. He then resumed his 
reading. 

" ' It is nearly over with 'im ; had the 'ounds caught view, he must 
ha' died. He will 'ardly reach the cover ; see 'ow they gain upon 
'im at every stroke ! It is an admirable race ! yet the cover saves 
'im. 

" ' Now be quiet, and he cannot 'scape us ; we 'ave the wind o' the 
'ounds, and cannot be better placed : 'ow short he runs ! he is now 
in the werry strongest part o' the cover. Wot a crash ! every 'ound 
is in, and every 'ound is runnin' 'im. That was a quick turn ! Again, 
another ! he's put to his last shifts. Now Mischief is at his 'eels, and 
death is not far off. Ha ! they all stop at once ; all silent, and yet 
no hearth is hopen. Listen ! now they are at him agin ! Did you 
'ear that 'ound catch 'im ? they over-ran the scent, and the fox had 
laid down be'ind 'em. Now Reynard look to yourself ! 'Ow quick 
they all give their tongues ! Little Dreadnought, 'ow he works 'im ! 
the terriers, too, they are now sqneakin' at 'im ! 'Ow close Wengeance 
pursues ! 'ow terribly she presses ! it is jest up with 'im ! Gods ! 
wot a crash they make ; the 'ole wood resounds ! That turn was 
werry short ! There ! now ! aye, now they 'ave 'im ! Who-hoop ! ' " 

Here Mr. Jorrocks put his finger in his ear, and gave a " Who- 
hoop ! " that shook the very rafters of the room, which being 
responded to by the party, a noise was created that is more easily 
imagined than described. 

Three cheers for Mr. Jorrocks were then called for and given with 
such vehemence as to amount to nine times nine, and one cheer more, 
during which the worthy master kept bowing and scraping on the 
platform, until he got a crick in his neck from the exercise. 



274 BANDLEY CtiOSS. 



CHAPTER XXIX. 

MR. JORROCKS'S JOURNAL. 

A few more extracts from our distinguished friend's journal will 
perhaps best put our readers in possession of the nature of the sport 
with his hounds, and doings generally, though being written on loose 
sheets of paper, and sometimes not very legible, we have had some 
little difficulty in deciphering it. Indeed, what appear to have been 
the best runs — especially those with a kill — are invariably the worst 
written, owing perhaps to our friend indulging in a third pint of port 
on what he calls " qualified days." 

On one occasion he seems to have been writing his journal and a 
letter to his traveller, Mr. Bugginson, together, and to have put into 
the journal what was meant for the traveller, and most likely sent to 
the traveller what was meant for the journal. However, our readers 
shall have it as we find it, and we wili endeavour to supply any little 
deficiencies from such other sources as are open to us. 

Mr. Jorrocks would seem to have had another bye-day with Ben 
while Pigg's clothes were making, when Ben did not cut any better 
figure than he did on the boiled lobster one. Having got the hounds 
into cover, as soon as ever Mr. Jorrocks began to yoicks and cheer, 
and crack his whip, exhorting the hounds to " rout 'im out ! " and 
" pash J im hup ! " Ben stood erect in his stirrups, and made the 
following proclamation, to the great amusement of the field : — 

" / maintain that's the old mi's holloo ! " " / maintain thaVs the 
old urfs holloo ! " repeated he. " I maintain that's the old tin's holloo ! " 
he added for the third time, as he re-seated himself in his saddle, and 
scuttled away to astonish another group of sportsmen with a similar 
declaration. 

Mr. Jorrocks adds to his confused note of the transaction : — 
" Incorrigible bouy I Good mind to stuff him full o' Melton dinner 
pills, and see if they will give him any knowledge o' the chase." 

He also seems to have had several "bye" and other days at 
11 Pinch-me-near " forest, when a light-coloured fox beat him so 
often as to acquire the name of the "old customer." We see on 
chronicling his losings generally, he adds the words — " the muscif ul 
man is muscif ul to his fox " — just as if he could have killed him if 
he chose. That, of course, our readers will believe as much of as they 
like. We shouldn't like to be a fox with old J. at our brush. 

Some of his runs appear to have been severe, at least if we may 
judge by the entries of money paid for" catchin' my oss " — " stoppin' 
my oss," — and " helpin' me on to my oss " — which our worthy friend 
enters with the most scrupulous accuracy. 



OB, ME. JORBOCKS'S EUNT. 275 

The following is our master's minute of his opening day : — 
" Wednesday. — Round of beef and carrots — momentous crisis — first 
public day as an M.F.H. — morning fine, rather frosty — there betimes 
— landlord polite — many foot-folks — large field — Romeo Simpkins on 
Sontag — Captain Slack on Bull Dog — Miss Wells on Fair Rosamond 
—great many captains— found soon — ringin' beggar — ran three 
Tounds, and accounted for him by losin' him — found again — a ditto 
with a ditto finish — good for the foot-folks — home at four — 
musciful man is musciful to the foxes. Paid for catching my 
'oss, Gd. 

" Found two petitions. One from Joshua Peppercorn prayin' his 
honour the M.F.H. to subscribe to reinstate him in a cart 'oss, his 
own havin' come to an untimely end of old age. Says the M.F.H.'s 
always subscribe. Replied as follows : — 

" ' M. F. H. John Jorrocks presents Ms compliments to Mr. Joshua 
Peppercorn, and is sorry to hear of the death of his prad, but the 
M.F.H. ''as enough to do to mount himself and his men without 
subscribing to find other folks i f quads. 

" i Diana Lodge.' 

" Margaret Lucas had her patent mangle seized for rent and 
arrears of rent, and 'opes the master of the fox-dogs will do somethin' 
towards redeeming it. Wrote as follows : — 

" ' M. F. II. John Jorrocks presents his compliments to Mrs. 
Margaret Lucas, and is sorry to ''ear of tJie sitivation of her patent 
mangle, but the M. F. H. having laid it down as a rule never to 
subscribe to redeem patent mangles, can't depart from it in her case.'' 

"People seem to think M.F.H.'s have nothin' to do but give away 
tin. You know one a'n't quite sure her mother mayn't have sold her 
mangle ! Besides, if I mistake not, this is one o' the saucy jades wot 
laughed at me when I came 'ome with a dirty back. 

" Mountain Daisy. — Saturday, and few farmers out. — Not many 
pinks, but three soger officers, two of them mounted by Duncan 
Kevin — a guinea and a 'alf a day each, and 'alf a guinea for a hack. 
— Drew Slaughterford, and up to the Cloud Quarries. — Priestess 
seemed to think she had a touch of a fox in the latter, but could make 
nothin' on't. — Trotted down to Snodbury Gorse — wants enclosin' — 
cattle get in. No sooner in, than out came a pig, then came a fox, 
then another pig — then another fox. — Got away with last fox, and 
ran smartly down to Coombe, where we was headed by a hedger, and 
we never crossed his line again. — Found a second fox in Scotland 
Wood — a three-legger — soon disposed of him. — Found a third in 
Dulverton Bog, who ran us out of light and scent ; stopped the 'ounda 
war Appledove. — -Figg says Charley Stebhs 'coup'd his creels' 



276 EANDLEY CBOSS ; 

over an 'edge. — Scotch for throwin' a somersault, I understands 
— Paid for catchin' my 'oss, 6d" 

We also glean from the journal that Mr. Jorrocks allowed Pigg to 
cap when they killed ; but Pigg, not finding that process so produc- 
tive as he wished, hit upon the following novel expedient for raising 
the wind : — Seeing that a great many young gentlemen appeared at 
the meet who never attempted to get to the finish, Pigg constituted 
himself a sort of Insurance Company, and issued tickets against hunt- 
ing accidents — similar to what railways companies issue against railway 
ones. By these he undertook for a shilling a day, or five shillings the 
season, to insure gentlemen against all the perils and dangers of the 
chase — broken necks, broken backs, broken limbs, broken heads, and 
even their horses against broken knees. 

Indeed, he went further than this, and we have been told by parties 
who were present and heard him, that he would send Ben among the 
outsiders at the meets, singing out, " Take your tickets, gents ! please 
take your tickets! goin' into a hawful country — desperate bull- 
finchers ! yawnin' ditches ! rails that'll nouther brick nor bend ! Old 
'un got his monkey full o' brandy ! " by which means, and occasion- 
ally by dint of swearing he'd " ride over some of them if he caught 
them down," Pigg managed to extract a good deal of money. 

Mr. Jorrocks, we may observe, seems to have been in the habit of 
filling his sherry flask with brandy when going into a stiff country — 
a thing of very frequent occurrence with our friend. 

The following is the mixed entry between the traveller and the 
trespasser, if we may so call the fox — which we present as a true copy 
— " errors excepted," as they say in the City : — 

" When you go to 'Alifax, you'll most likely see Martin Proudfoote, 
of Sharpset-hill. This cove's father bit me uncommon 'ard, a'most 
the first journey I ever took, when a great stupid flock o' sheep made 
slap for the gate, and reg'larly stopped the way, there being no way 
out 'cept over a most unpossible, 'eart-rendin' 'edge, with a ditch big 
enough to 'old a cathedral church, which gave the infatuated fox 
considerable adwantage * * (illegible) * * for he had got 
early information that sugar had riz. * * (illegible) * * 
there bein' only 3000 and odd bags of Mauritius, at from 29s. to 32s. 
for brown, and summut like the same quantity o' wite Benares, and 
though * * (blot and illegible) * * we found 'im at the 
extremity of our wale country, and ran 'im for more nor an hour 
at a rattlin' pace through the entire length o' the grass-land, and then 
away for the open downs, crossin' the river near the mill at Floater- 
heels, the 'ounds castin' hup and down the banks to satisfy themselves 
the fox was not on their side, then returnin' to the point to which 
they 'ad carried the scent, they all dashed m like a row o' bouys bath- 
in', so (something wiped out with his finger — then half a line illegible). 
You must just do as you can about coffees, for I can't possibly be 
always at your helbow to cast you, but be careful o' the native^ 



OR, MR. JORROCKS'S HUNT. 2/7 

Ceylon, and don't give above 48s. per cwt. for good ordinary . . 
I'd be sweeter on either Mocha or Rio, for it isn't possible to see a 
better or truer line 'unter than old Factor, or one that I should 'ave 
less 'esitation in usin' as a stud-'ound, though some may say his flat 
feet are agin 'im, but 'andsome is wot 'andsome does, and I'll always 
speak well o' the bridge wot carries me over, so tell Fairlips it's all 
gammon sayin' the last sugars we sent him were not equal to sample 
— and that his customers can be no judges of quality or they 
wouldn't say so. Tell him always to show an inferior sample first, 
and always to show wite sugars on blue paper — but if the man's to 
be taught the first rudiments of his trade, it's time he gave hup 'mat- 
ing the country, for things can't be done now as they used in old 
Warde and Sam Nichol's time, when men fed their 'osses on new oats, 
and didn't care to look into their pedigrees, and nothin' but a fiat i' 
bankruptcy will teach sich a chap wisdom, and in course the lighter 
we ride in his books the better, for givin' away one's goods is a most 
absurd prodigality, seasoned foxes bein' as necessary to sport as 
experienced 'ounds — for you may rely upon it if we seek for comfort 
here below, it will only be found in a 'ound and a pettikit ; and wot- 
ever they may say about the merits of a slight dash o' chicory in 
coffee, there's more wirtue in the saddle than in all the doctor's 
bottles put together, so I'd have nothin' wotever to do with cheap 
tea, — and beware of supplyin' any of the advertisin' chaps, for scent 
of all things is the most fluctuatin' and * * (illegible) there's 
nothin' so queer as scent 'cept a woman, and tradesmen undersellin', 
and 'ounds choppin' foxes in cover is more a proof of their wice "— 
(Inkstand apparently upset, making a black sea on the paper.) 



278 



HAND LEY CBOSS 



CHAPTER XXX. 

THE " CAT AND CUSTARD-POT " DAY. 




A STATELY BIRD. 



HE above day de- 
serves a more ex- 
tended notice than 
it receives in Mr. 
Jorrocks's journal. 
He writes that 
"somehow or other 
in shavin', he 
thought they'd 
'ave mischief," and 
he went into the 
garden as soon as 
he was dressed to 
consult the prophet 
Gabriel Junks, so 
that he might take 
his pocket Siphonia 
in case it was likely 
to be wet, but the 
bird was not there. 
Then j ust as he had 
breakfasted and 
was about ready for 
a start, young May, 
the grocer, sent him 
a horse to look at, 
and as " another 



man 



was 



waiting for the next offer of him, Charley and Mr. Jorrocks stayed 
behind to try him, and after a hard deal, Mr. Jorrocks bought him 
for £30 — which he makes a mem. : " to call £50." 

Meanwhile Pigg and Ben trotted on with the hounds, and whei 
they reached the meet — the sign of the Cat and Custard-Pot, on th 
Muswell-road, they found an immense assemblage, some of whon 
greeted Pigg with the familar enquiry " what he'd have to drink ? " 

" Brandy ! " replied Pigg, " brandy ! " and tossing off the glass 
with great gusto, a second horseman volunteered one, then a third, 
then a fourth, then a fifth ; for it is observable that there are people 
in the world will give away drink to any extent, who yet would be 
chary of offering either money or meat. Pigg, who as Mr. Jorrocks 
says in his journal, is only a lusus natum, or loose 'un by nafcur', tosses 



OR, MR. JORROGKS'S HUNT. 279 

oS glass after glass, smacking his lips and slapping his thigh, getting 
noisier and noisier with each succeeding potation. Now he would 
sing them a song, now he would take the odds ag'in Marley Hill, 
then he would tell them about Deavilboger's farm, and how, but for 
his foreelder John, John Pigg, ye see, willin' his brass to the Formary 
ye see, he'd ha been a gen'l'man that day and huntin' his own hunds. 
Then as another glass made its appearance, he would take off his cap 
and halloo out at the top of his voice, making the hounds stare with 
astonishment, '* Keep the tambourine a roivlirt ! " adding as he tossed 
it off, "Brandy and laccy 'ill gar a man live for iver ! " And now 
when he was about at the noisiest, with his cap turned peak-back- 
wards, and the tobacco juice simmering down the deeply indented 
furrows of his chin, our master and Charley appear in the distance, 
jogging on, not too quickly for consequence, but sufficiently fast to 
show they are aware they are keeping the field waiting. 

" Here he comes ! here's Jorrocks ! here's the old boy ! here's 
Jackey at last ! " runs through the meeting, and horsemen begin to 
arrange themselves for the reception. 

" A — a — a sink ! " exclaims Pigg, shaking his head, blinking and 
staring that way, " here's canny ard sweetbreeks hissel ! " adding 
with a slap of his thigh as the roar of laughter the exclamation pro- 
duced subsided, "i — a — a, but ar de like to see his feulish 'ard 
feace a grinnin' in onder his cap ! " 

" How way, canny man ; how way ! " now shouts Pigg, waving 
his hand as his master approached. " How way ! canny man, how 
way ! and give us a wag o' thy neif," Pigg extending his hand as he 
spoke. 

Mr. Jorrocks drew up with great dignity, and placing his fist in 
his side, proceeded to reconnoitre the scene, 

" Humph ! " grunted he, " wot's all this about ? " 

" Sink, but ar'll gi' thou a gob full o' baccy," continued James, 
nothing daunted by his master's refusal of his hand. " Sink, but 
ar'll gi' thou a gob full o' baccy," repeated he, diving into his waist- 
coat pocket and producing a large steel tobacco box as he spoke. 

Mr. Jorrocks signified his dissent by a chuck of the chin, and an 
ominous shake of the head. 

" A — a — a man ! " exclaimed Pigg, now changing his tone, " but 
ar'll tell thee of a lass well worth her licks ! " 

ri You deserve your own, sir, for gettin' so drunk," observed Mr. 
Jorrocks, haughtily. 

Pigg. — " Ar's as sober as ye are, and a deal wizer ! " 

Jorrocks, angrily. — " I'll not condescend to compare notes with 
ye!" 

Pigg, now flaring up. — " Sink ! if anybody 'ill had mar huss, ar'll 
get off and fight him." 

Jorrocks, contemptuously. — " Better stick to the shop-board as long 
as you can." 

Y 



280 HANDLEY CROSS; 

Pigg, furious. — " Gin ar warn't afeard o' boggin mar neif, ard gi 
thou a good crack i' thy kite ! " 

JorrocJcs, with emphasis. — " Haw — da — cious feller. I'll 'unt the 
'ounds myself afore I'll put hup with sich himpereuce ! " 

Pigg, throwing out his arms and grinning in ecstacies. — " Ar'U be 
death of a guinea but arl coom and see thee ! " 

Jorrocks, looking indignantly round on the now mirth-convulsed 
company. — " Who's made my Pigg so drunk ? " 

Nobody answered. 

" Didn't leave his sty so," muttered our master, lowering himself 
jockey ways from his horse. 

"'Old my quad," said he to Charley, handing him Arterxerxes, 
" while I go in and see." 

Our master then stumped in, and presently encountering the great 
attraction of the place — the beautiful Miss D'Oiley — asked her, with 
a smiling countenance and a hand in a pocket, as if about to pay, 
" Wot his 'untsman 'ad 'ad ? " 

" Oh, sir, it is all paid," replied Miss D'Oiley, smiling as sweetly 
upon Jorrocks as she did on the generality of her father's customers, 
for she had no more heart than a punch-bowl. 

" Is all paid ? " muttered our friend. 

"Yes, sir ; each gentleman paid as he sent out the glass." 

" Humph ! " twigged Mr. Jorrocks, adding, with a grunt, " and 
that's wot these critters call sport ! " 

Our master then stumped out. " Well, genTmen," exclaimed he, 
at the top of his voice off the horse-block, " I 'opes you're satisfied wi' 
your day's sport ! — you've made my nasty Pigg as drunk as David's 
sow, so now you may all go 'ome, for I shalln't throw off ; and as to 
you," continued our indignant master, addressing the now somewhat 
crest-fallen Pigg, " you go 'ome too, and take off my garments, and 
take yourself off to your native mountains, for I'll see ye at Jericho 
ayont Jordan afore you shall 'unt my 'ounds," giving his thigh a 
hearty slap as he spoke. 

" Wy, wy, sir," replied Pigg, turning his quid ; " wy, wy, sir, ye 
ken best, only dinna ye try to hont them thyseP — that's arte I " 

" There are as good fish i' the sea as ever came out on't ! " replied 
Mr. Jorrocks, brandishing his big whip furiously ; adding, " I'll see 
ye leadin' an old ooman's lap-dog 'bout in a string afore you shall 
'unt 'em." 

" No ye won't ! " responded Pigg. " No ye won't ! Arve ne 
carle te de nothin' o' the sort I Arve ne carle te de nothin' o' the 
sort ! — Arle gan back to mar coosin Deavilbogers." 

" You may gan to the devil himself," retorted Mr. Jorrocks, vehe- 
mently — " you may gan to the devil himself — I'll see ye sellin' small 
Goals from a donkey-cart out of a quart pot afore you shall stay wi' 
me." 

" Thou's a varra feulish, noisey, gobby, insufficient 'ard man 1 " 



OR, MR. JO R ROOKS'S* BUNT 28f 

retorted Pigg, " and ar doesn't regard thee I No ; ar doesn'i 
regard thee ! " roared he, with a defiant flourish of his fist. 

" You're a hignorant, hawdacious, rebellious rascal, and I'D see ye 
frightenin' rats from a barn wi' the bagpipes at a 'alfpenny a day, 
and findin' yoursel, afore I'll 'ave anything more to say to ye," 
rejoined Mr. Jorrocks, gathering up his big whip as if for the 
fray. 

" Sink, arle tak' and welt thee like an ard shoe, if thou gives me 
ony mair o' thy gob ! " rejoined the now furious Pigg, ejecting his 
baccy and motioning as if about to dismount. 

Jorrocks, thinking he had done enough, then took his horse from 
Charley Stobbs, and hoisting himself on like a great crate of earthen- 
ware, whistled his hounds away from the still stupified Pigg, who sat 
blinking and staring and shaking his head, thinking there were two 
Jorrocks's on two Axterxerxes', two Ben's, two Charley Stobbs's, and 
something like five-and-forty couple of hounds. 

The field remained behind praising Pigg and abusing Jorrocks, 
and declaring they would withdraw their subscriptions to the hounds 
if Pigg "got the sack." None of them, would see Pigg want ; and 
Harry Capper, more vehement than the rest, proposed an immediate 
subscription, a suggestion that had the effect of dispersing the field, 
who slunk off different ways as soon as ever the allusion to the pocket 
was made. 

Jorrocks was desperately angry, for he had had an expensive 
" stop," and came bent on mischief. His confusion of mind made 
him mistake the road home, and go by Rumfiddler Green instead of 
Muswell Hill. He spurred, and cropped, and jagged Arterxerxes— 
now vowing that he would send him to the tanners when he got 'ome 
— now that he would have him in the boiler afore night. He was 
very much out of sorts with himself and everybody else — even the 
hounds didn't please him — always getting in his way, hanging back 
looking for James Pigg, and Ben had fine fun cutting and flopping 
them forrard. 

Charley, like a wise man, kept aloof. 

In this unamiable mood our master progressed, until the horrible 
apparition of a great white turnpike-gate, staring out from the gable 
end of a brick toll-house, startled his vision and caused him to turn 
short up a wide green lane to the left. " Take care o' the pence and 
the punds 'ill take care o' theirsels," muttered our master to himself, 
now sensible that he had mistaken his road, and looking around for 
some land-mark to steer by. Just as he was identifying "White 
Choker Church in the distance, a sudden something shot through the 
body of the late loitering indifferent hounds, apparently influencing 
them with a sort of invisible agency. Another instant, and a wild 
snatch or two right and left, ended in a whimper and a general shoot 
up the lane. 

" A fox I for a 'underd ! " muttered our master, drawing breath u 

y2 



282 HANDLEY CROSS; 

he eyed them. " A fox ! for two-and-twenty 'underd f " continued 
he, as Priestess feathered but spoke not. 

" A fox ! for a million ! " roared he, as old Kavager threw his 
tongue lightly but confidentially, and Jorrocks cheered him to the 
echo. 

" A fox ! for 'alf the national debt ! " roared he, looking round at 
Charley as he gathered himself together for a start. 

Now as Jorrocks would say, Beckford would say, " where are all 
your sorrows and your cares, ye gloomy souls ! or where your pains 
and aches, ye complaining ones ! one whimper has dispelled them 
ail. 

Mr. Jorrocks takes off his cap and urges the tail-hounds on. A 
few more driving shoots and stops, producing increased velocity with 
each effort, and a few more quick snatchey whimpers, end in an 
unanimous outburst of downrightly determined melody. 

Jorrocks, cocking his cap on his ear, seats himself plump in his 
great saddle, and, gathering his reins, gallops after them in the full 
grin of delight. Away they tear up the rutty grassy ride, as if it was 
a railway. " I-o-o~r-rard on ! F-o-o-r-rard on I " is his cry. 

" H-o-i-c cry I h-o-i-c cry ! h-o-i-c 1 " squeaks Ben, wishing himself 
at home at the mutton, and delighted at having got rid of James 
Pigg, who always would have the first cut. 

It is a long lane that never has a turn, and this one was no excep- 
tion to the rule, for in due course it came to an abrupt angle. A 
convenient meuse, however, inviting the fox onward, he abandoned 
the line and pursued his course over some bare, badly-fenced pastures, 
across which Mr. Jorrocks cheered and rode with all the confidence 
of a man who sees his way out. The pace mended as they went, and 
Jorrocks hugged himself with the idea of killing a fox without Pigg. 
From the pastures they got upon Straggleford Moor, pretty much 
the same sort of ground as the fields, but the fox brushing as he 
went, there was a still further improvement of scent. Jorrocks then 
began to bet himself hats that he'd kill him, and went vowing what 
he would offer to Diana if he did. There was scarcely any promise 
too wild for him to make at this moment. The fox, however, was 
not disposed to accommodate Jorrocks with much more plain sailing 
for the purpose, and seeing, by the scarlet coats, that he was not 
pursued by his old friends the Dotfield harriers as at first he thought, 
and with whom he had had many a game at romps, he presently sunk 
the hill and made for the stiffly-fenced vale below. 

" Blow me tight ! " exclaimed Jorrocks, shortening his hold of 
Arterxerxes, and putting his head straight as he used to do down the 
Surrey hills, " Blow me tight 1 but I wish he mayn't be gettin' me 
into grief. This looks to me werry like the Ingerleigh Wale, and if 
it is, it's a bit of as nasty ridin' grund as ever mortal man got into — 
yawnin' ditches with himpracticable fences, posts with rails of the 
most formidable order, and that nasty long Tommy bruk, twistin' 



OB, MB. JOBBOCKS'S HUNT. 



283 



and twinin' about in all directions like a child's rattle-snake. 
'Owever, thank goodness, 'ere's a gap and a gate beyond," continued 
he, as his quick eye caught a gap at the corner of the stubble field he 
was now approaching, which getting through, he rose in his stirrups 
and cheered on the hounds in tbe line of the other convenience. 




' HOISTING HIMSELF ON LIKE A CRATE OF EARTHENWARE. 

" For-r-a-r-d ! For-r-a-r-d ! " shrieked he, pointing the now racing 
hounds out to Charley, who was a little behind ; "for-rard! 
forward! " continued Jorrocks, rib-roasting Arterxerxes. The gate 
was locked, but Jackey — we beg his pardon — Mr. Jorrocks — was 
quickly off, and setting his great back against it, lifted it off the 
hinges. " Go on ! never mind me!" cried he to Charley, who had 



284 HANDLEY CROSS; 

pulled up as Jorrocks was dancing about with one foot in the stirrup, 
trying to remount. — " Go on ! never mind me ! " repeated he, with 
desperate energy, as he made another assault at the saddle. " Get 
on, Ben, you most useless appendage ! " continued he, now lying 
across the saddle, like a miller's sack. A few flounders land him in 
the desired haven, and he trots on, playing at catch-stirrup with his 
right foot as he goes. 

" Forrard on! forrard on!" still screamed he, cracking his 
ponderous whip, though the hounds were running away from him aa 
it was, but he wanted to get Charley Stobbs to the front, as there was 
no one to break his fences for him but him. 

The hounds, who had been running with a breast-high scent, get 
their noses to the ground as they come upon fallow, and a few kicks, 
jags, and objurgations on Jorrocks's part, soon bring Arterxerxes and 
him into the field in which they are. The scent begins to fail. 

" G — e-e-e-nt — ly there I " cries Jorrocks, holding up his hand and 
reining in his horse, inwardly hoping the fox might be on instead of 
off to the right, where he sees his shiny friend, long Tommy, 
meandering smoothly along. 

" Yo dote ! Kavager, good dog, yo dote, Ravager 1 " cheers Jorrocks, 
as the sage feathers and scuttles up the furrow. " yo-o dote ! " 
continued Mr. Jorrocks, cheering the rest on — adding as he looks at 
them scoring to cry, " wot a petty it is we can't put new legs to old 
noses ? " The spurt, however, is of short duration, for the ground 
gets worse as it rises higher, until the tenderest-nosed hound can 
hardly own the scent. A heavy cloud too oppresses the atmosphere. 
Jorrocks sees if he doesn't look sharp he'll very soon be run out of 
scent, so getting hold of his hounds, he makes a rapid speculation in 
his mind as to which way he would go if he were the fox, and having 
decided that point, he loses no time in getting the pack to the place. 
— Jorrocks is right ! — Ravager's unerring nose proclaims the varmint 
across the green head-land, and the next field being a clover ley, with 
a handy gate in, which indeed somewhat influenced Jorrocks in his 
cast, the hounds again settle to the scent, with Jorrocks rolling 
joyfully after them, declaring he'd be the best 'untsman under the 
sun if it warn't for the confounded lips. Away he now crams, up 
the field road, with the hounds chirping merrily along on his right, 
through turnips, oat stubble, winter beans, and plough. A white 
farm onstead, Buckwheat Grange, with its barking cur in a barrel, 
causes the fox to change his course and slip down a broken but grassy 
bank to the left. " Dash his impittance, but he's taken us into a 
most unmanageable country," observes Mr. Jorrocks, shading his 
eyes from the now out-bursting sun with his hand as he trotted on, 
eyeing the oft occurring fences as he spoke. " Lost all idee of where 
I ham, and where I'm a goin'," continued he, looking about to see if 
he could recognise anything. Hills, dales, woods, water, were equally 
new to him. 







5$ 



^ 



It 






OR, MR. JORROCKS'S HUNT. 285 

Crash ! now go the hounds upon an old dead thorn-fence, stuck on 
a low sod-bank, making Jorrocks shudder at the sound. Over goes 
Stobbs without doing anything for his followers. 

" Go on, Binjimin ! go on ! Now," cries Jorrocks, cantering up, 
cracking his whip, as if he wanted to take it in stride, but in reality 
to frighten Ben over to break it. " Go on I ye miserable man- 
monkey of a boy ! " repeats he, as 'Xerxes now turned tail, nearly 
upsetting our master — " Oh you epitome of a tailor 1 " groaned 
Jorrocks ; " you're of no more use wi' 'ounds than a lady's-maid, — do 
believe I could make as good a whipper-in out of a carrot ! See ! 
you've set my quad a refusin', and I'll bet a guinea 'at to a 'alf- 
crown wide awake, he'll not face another fence to-day. — Come hup, I 
say, you hugly beast ! " now roared Jorrocks, pretending to put 
Arterxerxes resolutely at it, but in reality holding him hard by the 
head, — " Get off, ye useless apology of a hosier and pull it down, or 
I'll give you sich a wopping as '11 send you to Blair Athol for the 
rest of the day," exclaimed our half distracted master, brandishing 
his flail of a whip as he spoke. 

Ben gladly alighted, and by dint of pulling away the dead thorns, 
and scratching like a rabbit at the bank, he succeeded in greatly 
reducing the obstacle. 

" Now lead him over ! " cried Mr. Jorrocks, applying his whip 
freely to Xerxes, and giving Ben a sly, accidental cut. 'Xerxes 
floundered over, nearly crushing Ben, and making plain sailing for 
Jorrocks. Our master then followed and galloped away, leaving Ben 
writhing and crying, and vowing that he would " take and pull him 
offhis'oss." 

The hounds had now shot a few fields ahead, but a flashey catching 
scent diminishing their pace, Mr. Jorrocks was soon back to them 
yoicking and holding them on. " Yooi, over he goes! " cheered he, 
taking off his cap, as Priestess endorsed Ranger's promissory note on 
a very wet undrained fallow — " Yooi, over he goes ! " repeated he, 
eyeing the fence into it, and calculating whether he could lead over 
or scuttle up to the white gate on the left in less time, and thinking 
the latter was safer, having got the hounds over, he rose in his 
stirrups, and pounded away while Charley took the fence in his 
stride. They were now upon sound old pasture, lying parallel with 
tortuous Tommy, and most musical were the hounds' notes as each 
in turn prevailed. — Mr. Jorrocks had lit on his legs in the way of 
gates, and holloaed and rode as if he didn't know what craning was. 

" Forrard on. Priestess, old betch ! " cheered he, addressing 
himself to the now leading hound, " forrard on ! — for-rard ! " adding 
" I'll gie ye sich a plate o' bones if we do but kill." 

On the hounds went bustling, chirping, and whimpering, all 
anxious to fly, but still not able to accomplish it. The scent was 
shifty and bad, sometimes serving them, and then as quickly failing, 
as if the fox had been coursed by a dog. Jorrocks, though 



286 HANDLEY CBOSS ; 

desperately anxious to get them on better terms with their fox, trots 
gently on, anxiously eyeing them but restraining his ardour, by 
repeating the old couplet, — 

" As well as shape full well he knows, 
To kill their fox they must 'ave nose." 

" Aye, aye, but full well he knows also," continued our master, 
after he had repeated the lines three or four times over, " that to kill 
their fox they must press 'im, at some period or other o' the chase, 
which they don't seem at all inclined to do," continued he, looking 
at their indifferent slack mode of proceeding. " For-rard on! " at 
length cries our master, cracking his whip at a group of dwellers, 
who seemed inclined to reassure every yard of the ground — " For- 
rard on ! " repeated he, riding angrily at them, adding, " cus your 
unbelievin' 'eads, can't you trust old Priestess and Eavager ? " 

To increase our worthy master's perplexities, a formidable flock of 
sheep now wheel semicircularly over the line, completely obliterating 
any little scent that remained, and though our finest huntsman under 
the sun, aided by Charley as whip, quickly got the hounds beyond their 
foil, he was not successful in touching upon the line of the fox again. 

"Humph," grunted our master, reviewing his cast, " the ship must 
ha' heat 'im, or he's wanished into thin hair;" adding, "jest put 
'em on to me, Charley, whilst I makes one o' Mr. Craven Smith's 
patent all-round-my-'at casts, for that beggar Binjimin's of no more 
use with a pack of 'ounds than a hopera-box would be to a cow, or a 
frilled shirt to a pig." So saying, Mr. Jorrocks out with his tootler, 
and giving a shrill blast, seconded by Charley's whip, proceeded to go 
down wind, and up wind, and round about wind, without however 
feeling a touch of his fox. At length scarce a hound would stoop, 
and old black Lucifer gave unmistakeable evidence of his opinion of 
matters by rolling himself just under Jorrocks's horse's nose, and 
uttering a long-drawn howl, as much as to say, " Come, old boy ! 
shut up ! it's no use bothering : let's off to dinner ! " 

" Rot ye ! ye great lumberin' henterpriseless brute ! " roared 
Jorrocks, cutting indignantly at him with his whip, " rot ye ! d'ye 
think I boards and lodges and pays tax 'pon you to 'ave ye settin' up 
your 'olesale himperance that way ? — g-e-e-t-e away, ye disgraceful 
sleepin' partner o' the chase ! " continued he, as the frightened hound 
scuttled away with his tail between his legs. 

" Well, it's nine 'underd and fifty thousand petties," muttered our 
master now that the last of the stoopers had got up their heads, " it's 
nine 'underd and fifty thousand petties that I hadn't got close away 
at his brush, for I'd ha' killed 'im to a dead certainty. Never was a 
fox better 'unted than that ! Science, patience, judgment, skill, 
everything that constitutes an 'untsman — Goodhall, himself, couldn't 
ha' done it better ! But it's not for mortals to command success,' 1 
sighed our now greatly dejected master. 



Oli, MB. JOBBOCKS'S HUNT. 287 

CHAPTEK XXXI. 

JAMES PIGG AGAIN ! ! ! 




" WELLINGTON PIGG. 



Just as Mr. Jorrocks was reining in his horse to blow his hounds 
together, a wild, shrill, view holloo, just such a one as a screech-owl 
gives on a clear frosty night, sounded through the country, drawing 
all eyes to Camperdown Hill, where, against the blue sky, sat a 
Wellington-statue-like equestrian with his cap in the air, waving and 
shouting for hard life. 

The late lethargic hounds pricked their ears, and before Mr. 
Jorrocks could ejaculate the word " Pigg ! " the now-excited pack had 
broke away, and were streaming full cry across country to where Pigg 
was perched. 

" Get aiuay hook ! Get away hook ! " holloaed our master, delud- 
ing himself with the idea that he was giving them leave. " Get 
away h-o-o-kJc ! Get aiuay h-o-o-iclc ! " repeated he, cracking hi? 
ponderous whip. 

The hollooing still continued — louder if possible than before. 

" Blow me tight ! " observed Mr. Jorrocks to himself, " wot a pipe 
the feller 'as ! a'most as good as Gabriel Junks's ! " and returning his 
horn to his saddle, he took a quick glance at the country for a line 



288 HANDLEY CROSS; 

to the point, instead of crashing after Charley Stobbs, who seemed, 
by the undue elevation of his horse's tail on the far side of a fence, to 
be getting into grief already. "There 'ill be a way out by those 
stacks," said Mr. Jorrocks to himself, eyeing a military-looking line 
of burly corn stacks drawn up on the high side of a field to the left : 
so saying he caught Arterxerxes short round by the head, and letting 
in the Latchford's, tore away in a desperate state of flutter and 
excitement, the keys and coppers in his pockets contributing to the 
commotion. 

Mr. J. was right, for convenient gaps converged to these stacks, 
from whence a view of the farm-house (Barley Hall) further on was 
obtained. Away he next tore for it, dashing through the fold-yards, 
leaving the gates open as if they were his own, and catching Ben 
draining a pot of porter at the back-door. Here our fat friend had 
the misfortune to consult farmer Shortstubble, instead of trusting to 
his own natural instinct for gaps and gates, and Shortstubble put 
him on a line as wide of his own wheat as he could, which was any- 
thing but as direct a road as friend Jorrocks could have found for 
himself. However, Camperdown Hill was a good prominent feature 
in the country, and by dint of brisk riding, Jorrocks reached it in a 
much shorter time than the uninitiated would suppose he could. 
Now getting Arterxerxes by the mane, he rose in his stirrups, hugging 
and cramming him up the rugged ride to the top. 

When he reached the summit, Pigg, whose sight was much im- 
proved, had hunted his fox with a very indifferent scent round the 
base of the hill, and having just got a view, was capping the hounds 
on as hard as ever his horse could lay legs to the ground, whooping 
and forcing the fox away into the open. 

" Wot a man it is to ride ! " ejaculated Jorrocks, eyeing Pigg 
putting one of Duncan Nevin's nags that had never seen hounds 
before at a post and rail that almost made him rise perpendicularly 
to clear. " Well done you I " continued Mr. Jorrocks, as with a 
flounder and scramble James got his horse on his legs on the far 
side, and proceeded to scuttle away again as hard as before. " Do 
believe he's got a view o' the varmint," continued Mr. Jorrocks, eye- 
ing Pigg's cap-in-hand progress. 

" Wot a chap it would be if it could only keep itself sober ! " con- 
tinued Mr. Jorrocks, still eyeing James intently, and wishing he 
hadn't been too hard upon him. " Of all 'bominable vices under the 
sun that of hintemperance is the most degradin' and disgustin',' ' con- 
tinued our master emphatically, accompanying the assertion with a 
hearty crack of the whip down his leg. 

Jorrocks now gets a view of the varmint stealing away over a 
stubble, and though he went stouter than our master would have 
liked if he had been hunting himself, he saw by Pigg's determined 
way that he was master of him, and had no doubt that he would 
have him in hand before long. Accordingly, our master got Arter- 



OR, MR. JORROCKS' 8 HUNT* 289 

xerxes by his great Roman -nosed head, and again letting the Latch- 
ford's freely into his sides, sent him scrambling down hill at a pace 
that was perfectly appalling. Open went the gate at the bottom of 
the hill, down Jorrocks made for the Long Tommy ford, splash he 
sent Arterxerxes in just like Johnny Gilpin in Edmonton Wash, — 

" throwing the water about, 



On both sides of the way, 
Just like a trundling mop, 
Or a wild goose at play." 

Then having got through, he seized the horse by the mane, and rose 
the opposing bank determined to be in at the death if he could. 
" Blow me tight ! " ejaculated he, " do believe this hungry high- 
lander will grab him arter all I " And then rising in his stirrups and 
setting up his great shoulders, Jorrocks tore up the broken Mugger- 
camp lane, sending the loose stones flying right and left as he went. 

" If they can but pash him past Ravens wing-scar," observed Mr. 
Jorrocks, eyeing the leading hounds approaching it, " they'll mop 'im 
to a certainty, for there's nothin' to save 'im arter it. Crikey I 
they're past ! and its U. P. with old Pug ! "Well, if this doesn't 
bang Bannager I doesn't know what does ! If we do but kill'un, I'll 
make sich a hofferin' to Bacchus as 'ill perfectly 'stonish 'im," con- 
tinued Mr. Jorrocks, setting Arterxerxes agoing again. " Gur-r-r 
along ! you great 'airy 'eeled 'umbug 1 " groaned he, cropping and 
rib-roasting the horse with his whip. 

Arterxerxes, whose pedigree, perhaps, hasn't been very minutely 
looked into, soon begins to give unmistakeable evidence of satiety. 
He doesn't seem to care much about the whip, and no longer springs 
to the spur. He begins to play the castanets too in a way that is 
anything but musical to Mr. Jorrocks's ear. Our master feels that it 
will very soon be all U. P. with Arterxerxes too. 

"Come hup, you snivellin', drivellin', son of a lucifer match- 
maker ! " he roars out to Ben, who is coming lagging along in his 
master's wake. " Come on I " roared he, waving his arm frantically, 
as, on reaching the top of Ravenswing-scar, he sees the hounds swing- 
ing down, like a bundle of clock pendulums into the valley below. 
" Come hup, I say, ye miserable, road-ridin' dish-lickin' cub ! and 
give me that quad, for you're a disgrace to a saddle, and only fit to 
toast muffins for a young ladies' boardin' school. Come hup, you 
preter-pluperfect tense of 'umbugs ! " adding, " I wouldn't give tup- 
pence a dozen for such beggarly boys ; no, not if they'd give me a 
paper bag to put them in." 

Mr. Jorrocks, having established a comfortable landing-place on a 
grassy mound, proceeded to dismount from the nearly pumped-out 
Arterxerxes, and pile himself on to the much fresher Xerxes, who had 
been ridden more as a second horse than as a whipper-in's. 

" Now go along ! " cried our master, settling himself into his 



ZW BANDLET CROSS; 

saddle, and giving Xerxes a hearty salute on the neck with his whip. 
" Now go along ! " repeated he, " and lay yourself out as if you 
were in the cut-me-downs," adding, "there are twenty couple of 
'ounds on the scent 1 " 

" By 'eavens, it's sublime ! " exclaimed he, eyeing the hounds, 
streaming away over a hundred-acre pasture below. " By 'eavens, 
it's sublime ! 'ow they go, screechin' and towlin' along, jest like a 
pocket full o' marbles. 'Ow the old wood re-echoes their melody, 
and the old castle seemingly takes pleasure to repeat the sound. A 
Jullien concert's nothin' to it. No, not all the bands i' the country 
put together." 

" How I wish I was a heagle ! " now exclaimed Mr. Jorrocks, eye- 
ing the wide stretching vale bofore him. " How I wish I was a 
heagle, 'overin over 'em, seein' which 'ound has the scent, which 
hasn't, and which are runnin' frantic for blood." 

" To guide a scent well over a country for a length of time, through 
all the changes and chances o' the chase, and among all difficulties 
usually encountered, requires the best and most experienced abilities," 
added he, shortening his hold of his horse, as he now put his head 
down the steep part of the hill. Away Jflrrocks went wobbling like a 
great shape of red Noyeau jelly. 

An accommodating lane serves our master below, and taking the 
grassy side of it, he pounds along manfully, sometimes hearing the 
hounds, sometimes seeing Pigg's cap, sometimes Charley's hat, bob- 
bing over the fences ; and, at more favoured periods, getting a view 
of the whole panorama of the chase. Our master is in ecstacies ! 
He whoops, and shouts, and grins, and rolls in his saddle, looking 
more like the drunken Huzzar at the circus, than the sober, well- 
conducted citizen. 

" F-o-r-rard on 1 " is still his cry. Hark ! They've turned and 
are coming towards him. Jorrocks hears them, and spurs on in 
hopes of a nick. Fortune favours him, as she generally does the 
brave and persevering, and a favourable fall of the land enables our 
friend to view the fox still travelling on at an even, stealthy sort of 
pace, though certainly slower than the still pressing, squeak, squeak, 
yap, yap, running pack. Pigg and Charley are in close attendance, 
and Jorrocks nerves himself for a grand effort to join them. 

" Til do it? says he, putting Xerxes at a well broken-down cattle- 
gap, into Wandermoor Common. This move lands him well inside 
the hounds, and getting upon turf he hugs his horse, resolved to ride 
at whatever comes in his way. Another gap, not quite so well 
flattened as the first, helps our friend on in his project, and em- 
boldened by success, he rams manfully at a low stake and rice-bound 
gateway, and lands handsomely in the next field. He thus gains 
confidence. 

" Come on, ye miserable, useless son of a lily-livered besom-maker," 
he roars to Benjamin, who is craning and funking at the place his 



OB, MB. JOBBOCKS'S HUNT. 



291 



master has come so gallantly over. "Kot ye," adds Jorrocks, as 
the horse turns tail, " I'll bind ye 'prentice to a salmon pickler." 

The next field is a fallow, but Jorrocks chooses a wet furrow, up 
which he spurts briskly, eyeing the country far and near, as well for 
the fox, as a way out. He sees both. The fox is skirting the brow 
of the opposite heathery hill, startling the tinkling belled sheep, while 
the friendly shepherd waves his cap, indicating an exit. 




RECONCILIATION OF MR. JORROCKS AND PIGG. 



" Thank 'ee," cries Jorrocks, as he slips through the gate. 

There is nothing now between him and the hounds, save a some- 
what rough piece of moorland, but our master not being afraid of the 
pace so long as there is no leaping, sails away in the full glow of 
enthusiastic excitement. He is half frantic with joy ! 

The hounds now break from scent to view and chase the still flying 



288 BANDLEY CROSS; 

fox along the hill side — Duster, Vanquisher, and Hurricane have 
pitched their pipes up at the very top of their gamut, and the rest 
come shrieking and screaming as loudly as their nearly pumped-out 
wind will allow. 

Dauntless is upon him, and now a snap, a turn, a roll, and it's all 
over with reynard. 

Now Pigg is off his horse and in the midst of the pack, now he's 
down, now he's up, and there's a pretty scramble going on ! 

" Leave him I leave Mm ! " cries Charley, cracking his whip in aid 
of Pigg's efforts. A ring is quickly cleared, the extremities are 
whipped off, and behold the fox is ready for eating. 

" Pigg, you're a brick ! a fire brick ! " gasps the heavily per- 
spiring Mr. Jorrocks, throwing himself exhausted from his horse, 
which he leaves outside the now riotous ring, and making up to the 
object of his adoration, he exclaimed, " Pigg, let us fraternise ! " 
Whereupon Jorrocks seized Pigg by the middle, and hugged him like 
a Polar bear, to the mutual astonishment of Pigg and the pack. 

" A — a — a wuns man, let's hev' him worried ! " roared Pigg, still 
holding up the fox with both hands high above his head. A — a — a 
wuns man, let's hev' him worried," repeated James, as Jorrocks 
danced him about still harder than before. 

" Tear Hm and eat Hm 1 " roars Pigg, discharging himself of the 
fox, which has the effect of detaching Jorrocks, and sending him to 
help at the worry. Then the old boy takes a haunch, and tantalises 
first Brilliant, then Harmony, then Splendour, then Vengeance, all 
the eager young entry in short. 

Great was Mr. Jorrocks's joy and exultation. He stuck his cap on 
his whip and danced about on one leg. He forgot all about the Cat 
and Custard-Pot, the gob full of baccy, and crack in the kite, in his 
anxiety to make the most of the victory. Having adorned the head- 
stall of his own bridle with the brush, slung the head becomingly at 
Pigg's saddle side, and smeared Ben's face plentifully with blood, he 
got his cavalcade in marching order, and by dint of brisk trotting re- 
entered Handley Cross just at high change, when everybody was 
abusing him for his conduct to poor Pigg, and vowing that he didn't 
deserve so good a huntsman. Then when they saw what had hap- 
pened, they changed their tunes, declaring it was a regular precon- 
certed do, abused both James and Jorrocks, and said they'd with- 
draw their subscriptions from the hounds. 



OR, MR. JORROCKS'S HUNT. 293 



CHAPTER XXXII. 

MR. JORROCKS'S JOURNAL. 

We learn from the above veracious record, that when our worthy 
friend arrived at home after the foregoing memorable day, he found 
how it was that the prophet Gabriel Junks, the peacock, was not in the 
garden when he went to consult him about the weather. Among 
other letters, a highly musked, superfine satin cream-laid paper one lay 
on his table, from no less a man than Doctor Sebastian Mello, com- 
plaining in no measured terms of Gabriel having killed Mello's fine 
white Dorking cock. 

" Humph ! " grunted Mr. Jorrocks, throwing it down, rt that 
'counts for the bird not bein' forthcomin' this mornin'. Wot 
business has he out of his own shop, I wonder." Fearing, on second 
thoughts, that Mello might try to make him pay for him, and that 
too at the rate of the mania price for poultry, Mr. Jorrocks thought 
it best to traverse the killing altogether, which accordingly he did by 
the following answer. 

" M. F. H. John Jorrocks presents his compliments to Dr. Sebastian 
Mello, and is much surprised to receive a note complaining of the 
M. F. H's peacock, Gabriel Junks, havin' slain the Doctor's dung- ill 
cock. The M. F. H. thinks the Doctor must be mistaken. The M. F. H. 
cannot bring himself to think that Gabriel, with his 'igh and chivalrous 
feelins, would condescend to do battle ivith such an unworthy adwersary 
as a dung-ill cock. Nevertheless, the M. F. H. begs to assure the 
Doctor of his distinguished consideration. 
" Diana Lodge." 

And having despatched Ben with it, and giving him instructions 
to find out, if he could, whether any one saw the bird at work, Mr. 
Jorrocks proceeded to make the following entry in his journal : — 

" Letter from Bowker, requesting the loan of a £50. Stock been 
seized for rent and arrears, — seems to be always gettin' seized ; — no 
interest paid on former fifty yet. Queer chap, Bill, with his inwoices, 
and flash of supply in' the trade, when £50 was all he set up with, 
and that I had to lend him. — Never chop-fallen, seemingly, with all 
his executions and misfortunes. — Writes, 

" '/ had a rum go in a 'buss on Saturday. Streets being sloppy, 
and wantin' to go to my snuff-merchant in the Mmories, I got into a 
'buss at the foot of Holborn Hill, and seated myself next a pretty young 
juoman with a child in her arms. Stopping at Bow Church, she asked 
if Pd have the kindness to hold the babby for a minute, when out she 



294 EANDLEY CROSS 

got, and cut down the court as hard as ever she could go. On went tfu 
'buss, and I saw I was in for a plant. A respectable old gentleman, in 
black shorts and a puddingey white tie, sat opposite ; and as the 'buss 
pulled up at the Mansion-house, I said, * Perhaps you'd have the 
kindness to hold the babby for a minute, while I alight ; ' and popping 
it into his lap, I jumped out, making for Buckler sbury, threading all 
the courts in my line till I got back to Lincoln's Inn' 

" Sharp of Bill ; — deserves £50 for his 'cuteness. May as well lend 
it on an * I. 0. U.,' for it's no nse throwin' good money after bad by 
usin' a stamp." 

While our master was thus writing, Ben returned with the follow- 
ing minute account of the Gabriel Junks' transaction from the 
refined Mr. Sebastian Mello himself : — 

"Sir, — 7" am surprised tMt you should contradict my assertion 
respecting your cock having killed my white Dorking fowl, on no better 
grounds than mere supposition. I tell you he did kill my cock. He 
passed through the Apollo Belvidere gardens and perched on one of the 
balls at my back gates, as if the place ivere his own. When my maid, 
Maria, fed the fowls, he flew among them, and because my cock resented 
the intrusion he killed him on the spot ; and then his master adds insult 
to injury, by saying he does not believe it. These sort of manners may 
be very well for the city, but they won't do for civilised life. I may take 
this opportunity of observing that you are very indecorous in your 
general proceedings. The day before yesterday you walked your hounds 
and your servants in scarlet before my windoivs, and stood there, a 
thing that I, as a religious man, would not have had done for ten 
sovereigns. I desire you will not do so again. 

" Your obedient servant, 

"Sebastian Mello. 
« Sulphur Wells Hall." 

To which Mr. Jorrocks makes a " Mem. — To take 'orns as well as 
'ounds next time, and blow before his house — a beggar." 

The next entry of importance is the following : — 

" Had Fleecey to see how the cat jumps in the money department 
Sharp chap, Fleecey — manages to keep the expenses up to the 
receipts, what with earth-stoppin', damage, cover rent, and law bills. 
Wanted to take credit for receivin' no salary. Axed him what his 
bills were ? Said public officers always had a fixed salary besides their 
bills. Had twenty-five pounds a-year from the Mount Sion Turn- 
pike-road. Told him I knew nothin' about 'pikes, but if he did not 
get me all arrears of subscription in by New Year's Day I'd be my 
own sec, and save both his law bills and his salary. 

" Read the Life — good letter on bag: foxes. 



OR, MR. JORROGKS'S HUNT. 

"'bag foxes. 
[ ■ To the Editor of BelVs Life in London. 



U i 



Sir, — as your journal is a sporting one, and unquestionably the 
first in the kingdom, I am very sorry frequently to see in it accounts 
of runs with lagged foxes. You, sir, who are so well acquainted with 
the sports of the field, must know what a very difficult thing it is tc 
show sport with fox-hounds, and that very much of that difficulty 
arises from the almost entire impracticability of preserving foxes, 
occasioned in great measure by their being stolen and sold to hunters 
of bagged foxes. It matters not if the animal is turned out before 
hounds in a country where no regular fox-hounds are kept, the crime 
(in a sporting sense) and the evil done are always the same. I am 
sure you wiH acknowledge that fox-hunting is, of all others, the 
noblest of English sports, and cannot doubt that a moment's con- 
sideration will show you, that your publishing accounts of runs with 
bagged foxes is giving a tacit approval of that practice (I will not 
term it sport). Should you, upon consideration, decline publishing 
accounts of any more of these runs, you will have the hearty thanks 
of every real sportsman, and you will show that you are determined 
that the character of your journal shall be that of The Sporting 
Chronicle of England. 

"'A Fox-hunter, 
"'but not a Master of Hounds.' 

" Watertury Turnpike.— 'Pikes are better for meetin' at than 
publics. Gabriel Junks began screamin' at day-break ; so put on my 
old hat and coat, ditto boots, and breeches. — Began to drop just as 
we left kennel. Useful bird Junks, to be sure, — no pack perfect 
without a peacock ; — the most 'arden'd minister dirsn't tax a peacock. 
Eeg'lar down-pour by the time we got to the 'pike. Duncan Nevin's 
screws out as usual ; and a groom in twilled fustian, with a green 
neckcloth, and a cockade in his 'at, leadin' some rips up and down 
the road for soger officers. Home at one — wet as water. Paid for 
catchin' my 'oss Is. 

" Turtle soup day. Roger Swizzle dined and got glorious ; — says 
the true way to be healthy is to live freely and well. — Believes he has 
cured more people of indigestion than any man goin'. — Thinks Mello 
a cantin' humbug. — Wishes he could ride, that he might hunt : 
subscribes twenty-five guineas to the 'ounds since I got them — pays 
too. — Showed him Mello's letters. — Says the open in front of Sulphur 
"Wells Hall is public property, and I may kick up whatever row I like 
upon it. — Will write to Bowker to send a company of mountebankg 
down to perform there." 

Passing over some intermediate matter, chiefly about horses that 
people sent for him to look at, believing on the strength of his lecture 



2% RANDLET CROSS; 

that he would not require them to be warranted — a supposition that 
they found themselves mistaken in — we come to the following entry 
about a gentleman with whom we shall presently have the pleasure of 
making the reader acquainted. 

" Most purlite letter from a gentleman signin' himself Marmaduke 
Muleygrubs, J.P., sayin' that being a country gentleman, and anxious 
to do wot is right, he should be 'appy to encourage the 'unt, and 
would be glad if I would fix a day for dinin' at Cockolorum Hall, 
and let the hounds meet before it the next mornin'." 

To which Mr. Jorrocks replied as follows : — 

" M.F.H. John Jorrocks presents his compliments to Mr. Marmaduc 
Muleygrubs, and in reply to his purlite favour duly received, begs to 
say that he will be ''appy to dine and sleep at Cockolorum Hall as soon 
as ever his other 'unting arrangements will enable him to meet on that 
side of the country ; and that with regard to the subscription so 'and- 
somely promised to his 'ounds, it can be paid either to his credit at 
Bullock and Hulker's in the Strand, or to the M.F.H.'s account at 
Stumpey and Co.'s here — 

" Handley Cross Spa, 
" Diana Lodge." 

The few next days disclose no feature of general interest — found, 
lost, killed, lost, found, killed, &c, being the burthen of the journal, 
so we omit them altogether. 

" Letter from Bowker, brimful of gratitude for the loan of 50/." 
This letter being pasted into the journal, we give the greater part of 
it, containing, as it does, some further particulars of Bowkers 
badger-baiting friend. 

" You tvill be sorry to hear" says he to Mr. Jorrocks, " that the 
Slender is found guilty, and ordered to be scragged on Monday morning, 
for though they have not found the exciseman, the jury found Billy 
guilty. Poor Slender I Fve known him long, and safely can I aver 
that a nobler fellow never breathed. He combined many callings : bear 
and badger-baiter, dog-fancier, which has been unhandsomely interpreted 
into fancy gentlemen that fancy other people's dogs, horse- slaughterer, 
private distiller, and smasher* About five years ago he was nearly 
caught at the latter work. Sitting, as * was his custom always in an 
afternoon,' at a public- house in the Hampstead Lane, upon ' his smire 
hour,' tivo policemen stole. The energetic firmness of Billy's character 
was manfully displayed. Seizing a handful of bank-notes, ivhich he 
had in his pocket, he thrust his hand into the fire, and held them there 
until they ivere consumed. The flesh peeVd off his fingers. 

" He once had a turn ivith the excisemen before. With his intimates 

* Coiner, or passer of forged notee. 



OR, MR. JORROCKS'S HUNT. 29? 

Billy had no deceit, and used to boast that there was summal /unnin§ 
under his heaps of old horse-bones that was the marrow of his existence. 
Well, the Excise strongly suspectiug this, sent down a posse comitatus 
to Copenhagen-fields to bring up Billy's body. He was busy ivith a 
bunch of sporting men at a dog-fight when Miss Aberford* came to give 
the office. Billy's mind was soon made up. Sending all his sporting 
friends into the house, and locking the doors, he unmuzzled his two 
bears and turned them loose among the officers. The scramble that 
ensued beggars description. In less than five minutes the red-breasts^ — 
for it was before the crusher times — were flown. It is a singular fact 
and says much for the influence of female charms, that Mrs. Aberford 
could hold and fight the dogs when they were too savage for Billy. 

" / always feared Billy's illegitimate pursuits would lead him into 
trouble. ' Master Bowker,' said he to me one day, ' Bo you want to buy 
an 'oss cheap ? ' i Where did you get him, Billy 1 ' said I. ' Found 
him, master,' said he. ' As I was coming home on foot from Chiswick, 
I sees a gig and 'oss a standing all alone in Chiswick Lane — says I, 
Billy, my boy, you may as ivell ride as ivallc — so I driv it home, and 
now the body o' the gig's in the black ditch, the ivheels are on my knacker- 
cart, and I've hogged the 'os's mane and cut his tail, so that his own 
master wouldn't know him? 

"Altogether, Billy has been a queer one, but still hangin's a hard 
matter, especially as they have not found the exciseman. Billy may now 
sport his oivnjoke to Jack Ketch, of i Live and let live, as the criminal 
said to the hangman? 

" Your second letter about the mountebanks is just received — strange, 
that I should be writing about rope-dancing just as it came. I'll see 
what I can do about sending you a troop. We of the sock and buskin 
do not call them companies. I rather think Polito is down in your part 
of England, perhaps his wild beasts would answer as well ; — beef-eaters, 
tambourine, &c, would make a grand row before Sanctity Hall. Mello 
wants flooring . I'll send him a broken dish by this post, requesting 
his acceptance of a piece of plate from his London patients. A basket 
of cats by coach would be a nice present, labelled 'game.' 

" Your much obliged and very humble servant, 

"Wm. Bowker." 

The following seems to have been a good run ; we take it verbatim 
from the journal, omitting some matters of no interest : — 

" Candid Pigg. — Went with the 'ounds for fear of accidents. 
Large field, and many strangers. Lots o' farmers. Mr. Yarnley in 
a yellow gig. Told us to draw his withey bed first. Trotted down 
to it, and no sooner were the 'ounds in than out went Reynard at the 
low end. Sich a fine chap ! Bright ruddy coat, with a well-tagged 

* Billy's daughter. The name of this singular man was Aberford. 
1 The Bow Street officers of former days wore red waistcoat*. 

z2 



296 HANDLEY CB08S ; 

brush. One whist of his brush, and away he went ! Pigg flew a 
double flight of oak rails, and Bin began to cry as soon as ever he 
saw them. 'Ounds got well away, and settled to the scent without 
interruption. Away for Frampton End, and on to Pippen Hall, past 
Willerton Brake, and up to Snapperton Wood. Here a check let in 
the roadsters ; it was but momentary. Through the wood and away 
for Lutterworth Bank. Earths open, but Reynard didn't know 
them, or hadn't time to try them — headed about a mile to the north 
of Lutterworth Spinney by people at a foot-ball match, and turned 
as if for Hollington Dean, taking over the large grass enclosures 
between that and Reeve's Mill, bringing the deep race into the line. 
Pigg blobbed in and out like a water-rat ; out on the right side too. 
Barnington went over head, and his 'oss came out on one side, and 
he on t'other. Stobb's little Yorkshire nag cleared it in his stride ; 
and Captain Shortflat went in and came out with a cart-load of 
water-cress on his back ; lost his hat too. Duncan Nevin piloted 
his pupils down to the bridge, followed by the rest of the field. Fox 
had run the margin of the race, and we nicked the 'ounds just at the 
bridge. Man on Stoke Hill holloa'd, and Pigg lifted his 'ounds, the 
scent bein' weak from the water. Viewed the fox stealin' down to 
the walley below, and Pigg capped them on and ran into the varmint 
in Tew Great Fields, within a quarter of a mile of Staveston Wood. 
Finest run wot ever was seen I Time, one hour and twenty-five 
minutes, with only one check. Distance, from p'int to p'int, twelve 
miles. As they ran, from fifteen to twenty. Many 'osses tired. 
Pigg rode young May's 'oss, Young Hyson, and went well — worth 
his 30Z. I think ; — shall ax 601 at the end of the season. Barning- 
ton got up before the worry, wet, but quite 'appy. Felt somethin' 
movin' in his pocket ; put in his hand and pulled out a pike ! 
Fishin' as well as 'unting. Paid for catchin' my 'oss twice two 
shillings. 

" GrumUe Corner. — Drew the gorse blank, then to Finmere 
Diggin's, crossin' two or three turnip fields in our line. All blank ; 
smelt werry strong of a trap. Barrack Wood. Found immediately. 
Away for Newfcimber Forest ; but headed within a quarter of a mile 
by coursers. Field rather too forrard, or Pigg rather too backward, 
havin' got bogged comin' out of cover. Came up in a desperate 
rage, grinnin' and swearin' as he went. Barnington in front, swore 
at him just as he would at a three-punder. The idea of swearin' at 
ji genTman wot gives 50 1, a year to the 'ounds ! Made nothin' more 
of the fox. Came on rain, and give in at two. Lectored Pigg 
for swearin' at a large payin' subscriber. Paid for catchin' my 
'oss Gd." 

The following bunch of anathemas seem to have been produced by 
Mr. Jorrocks being brought up short by a double ditch, with a fence 
most unjustifiably mended with old wire-rope, whereby our energetic 
master lost another of the " finest runs wotever was seen," from 




PIGQ FLEW A DOUBLE FLIGHT OF OAK RAILS, 



OR, MR. JORROCKS'S HUNT. 299 

8creecher Gorse to earth at Sandford Banks — time and distance, any- 
thing that anybody liked to call it. 

Con — found all farmers say I, wot deal in double ditches ! 

Con — found all farmers say I, wot mend their fences with old wire- 
rope ! 

Con — found all farmers say I, wot don't keep their gates in good 
order ! 

Con — found all farmers say I, wot are unaccommodatin' about 
gaps ! 

Con — found all farmers say I, wot arn't flattered by 'aving their 
fields ridden over ! 

Con — found all farmers say I, wot grumble at the price o' grain, 
and then plough out their grass ! 

Con-^ found all farmers say I, wot hobject to 'aving a litter o' foxes 
billeted upon them ! 

Con — found all farmers say I, wot hobject to walkin' the M.F.H. a 
pup! 

Con — found all farmers say I, wot don't keep their stock at 'ome, 
when the 'ounds are out ! 

Con — found all farmers say I, wot let their 'erds keep a cur ! 

Con — found all farmers say I, wot 'aven't a round o' beef or a cold 
pork pie to pull out, when the 'ounds pass ! 

Con — found all farmers say I, wot 'aven't a tap of good " October * 
to wash them down with ! 



CHAPTER XXXIII. 

THE WORLD TURNED UPSIDE DOWN DAY. 

" Was that the vind, or a dream ? " exclaimed Mr. Jorrocks start- 
ing out of his sleep at something like thunder over-head — rumble, 
rumble, tumble, went a stack of chimneys, and Mr. Jorrocks was on 
the floor in an instant. Blast went the wind, and in came his window. 
— " Vot next ? as the frog said when his tail dropped off," exclaimed 
Mr. Jorrocks, wondering what was going to happen — over went the 
looking-glass, which was dashed to atoms, two five-pound notes were 
whisked about the room, and the clothes-horse came clattering among 
the jugs. 

" It's a co-founded wind," said Mr. Jorrocks, running after the five- 
pound notes, " wonder wot's the meanin' of it all — fear th' 'ounds will 
be werry wild," recollecting that they were to meet at the " World 
Turned Upside Down," on the Hookem-Snivey road. 

It was a terrific morning — the wind blew a perfeot hurricane — 
chimneys were toppling and tumbling, slates falling, tiles breaking, 



300 EANDLEY CROSS; 

and here and there whole roofs taking flight — family washings were 
whisked away, or torn to tatters on the drying lines — children were 
lifted off their legs, and grown-up people knocked against each other 
at the corners of the streets. 

" This is summut new at all ewents," said Mr. Jorrocks, eyeing a 
large laurel torn up by the roots in the garden, " that tree never had 
such a hike afore in its life," and as he looked, the back door flew 
open with a crash that split it from top to bottom. 

" Wish there mayn't be mischief," said he, huddling on his 
dressing-gown and running down-stairs, recollecting there was some- 
thing about repairs in his agreement. Here he found the soot covering 
the drawing-room carpet, and the kitchen floor strewed with bricks and 
mortar — " Oh, dear ! oh, dear," exclaimed he, " here's a terrible 
disaster, five punds worth of damage at least, and, ord rot it ! there's 
my Jerry Hawkins mug broke : " gathering the fragments of a jug 
representing that renowned Gloucestershire sportsman. 

The wind was cuttingly keen, and swept up and down with unre- 
strained freedom. There was not a fire lighted, and the whole place 
smelt of soot, and was the picture of misery. 

" Shall never get to the World Turned Upside Down to-day," said 
Mr. Jorrocks, eyeing the scene of desolation, and wishing what he saw 
might be the extent of the mischief. " Pity to lose a day too," added 
he, thinking it might only be squall 

He now sought the refuge of the parlour, but oh ! what greeted him 
there ! — the window wide open — chairs huddled m the centre of the 
room, the table in the corner, and Betsey with up-turned gown, 
scrubbing away at the grate. 

" Now blast it, Batsay," roared Mr. Jorrocks, as a gust of wind 
s\> dpt a row of china off a chiffonnier. " Now blast it Batsay, vot in 
the name of all that's hugly are you arter now ? " 

" Only polishing the grate ! " exclaimed Betsey, astonished at seeing 
her master walking about in his night-cap and dressing-gown. 

" But vot in the name o' badness are you workin' with the winder 
open f or ? " 

" To air the house, to be sure ! " replied Betsey, tartly. 

" Hair the 'ouse ! " screamed Mr. Jorrocks, whisking his 
dressing-gown round as he spoke, " Hair the 'ouse, it's hairy enough 
already ! — ord rot it ! you 'ousemaids have no sort o' compassion 
about you — the colder the day, the hairier you are ! See vot you've 
done now ! Belinda's pet-lambs, your misses's Cupid, and my model 
of the Saracen's 'Ead on Snow '111, all dashed to spinnage ! Enough 
to make the Harchbishop o' York swear ! " saying which, Mr. 
Jorrocks whisked his dressing-gown the reverse way, and bounced out 
of the room, lest he might be tempted into the indiscretion of an 
oath. 

Our master ran up-stairs, but little consolation greeted him there. 
His dressing-table was covered with blacks — his looking-glass was on 



OR, MR. JORROCKS'S HUNT. 301 

the swing — his soap was reduced to a wafer — there was nothing but 
cold water to shave with, and his beard being at all times rather 
untractable, rough enough to light a lucifer match upon, he inflicted 
sundry little gashes on his chin, as he jagged a blunt razor over the 
stubborn stubble ; altogether his toilette was performed under most 
discouraging disheartening circumstances. Still he dressed for hunt- 
ing, the hounds being advertised, and there being a possibility of the 
wind lulling. 

Batsay had got the parlour " haired " before he made his second 
appearance, but she had had to borrow a neighbour's kettle, and was 
making some toast in the room when he entered. The wind having 
abated, Mr. Jorrocks thought he might as well make up with her, as 
a sort of peace-offering to iEolus. 

" Now, Batsay," said he, in a mild agreeable tone, " I've never had 
cause to find fault with you afore, but really on a vindy day like this, 
it does seem rayther unkind lettin' old Boreas take the run o' the 
ouse in " 

" It warri't old Borus," replied Betsey, colouring brightly, 

" Oh, dash my vig ! " exclaimed Mr. Jorrocks, hurrying out, " that 
confounded young carpenter's been here again ! That's the way they 
hair one's 'ouse." 

Wkish — Wha-s-s-sh — blash — roar went the wind, as Mr. Jorrocks 
left the room. 

*■*«*#* 

Stobbs wouldn't get up, and Mr. Jorrocks got through breakfast 
alone under very chilling disheartening uncomfortable circumstances. 
The kettle had only half -boiled, and the tea was little better than 
water — blacks floated on the cream, and the butter was similarly 
ornamented — the eggs were cold in the middle, and the sausages onl> 
done on one side, added to which, the baker's oven was blown down 
and there was nothing but stale rolls ; altogether, it was a very sorr} 
affair. " Well, better luck next time," said Mr. Jorrocks to himself, 
hurrying away from the scene of discomfort. 

******* 

" Can't we 'unt,' think you, Pigg ? " inquired he of James, whom he 
found turning the horses round in their stalls, preparing for a start. 

Pigg. — " Yeas, ar should think we may, towards noon ; the wind's 
uncommon kittle now, though, — maist had mar head smashed with a 
pantile comin' past ard Tommy Trotter's Biar." 

" It's werry cold," observed Mr. Jorrocks, thumping his right hand 
across his chest. " Now, Binjimin, wot's 'appened to you ? " looking 
at the boy all bathed in tears. 

" So-o-o cold" drawled the boy. 

" Cold ! you little warmint ! " repeated Mr. Jorrocks briskly ; 
" wot business have you to be cold ? — Think o' ginger. I'm froggy 
myself, but I doesn't cry ! Think o' ginger, I say," 



302 HANDLET CROSS; 

The boy still went on blubbering, wiping his eyes with the back of 
his hands, imparting a little of their dirt to his face. 

It was ten o'clock before they got started, and the wind still blew 
with unabated fury. Pigg and Benjamin turned their caps peak 
backwards, and Mr. Jorrocks shortened his string two holes. The 
hounds set up their backs, and the horses shied at every thing they 
came near, — indeed, they were not wholly without excuse, for the 
broken and uprooted trees, the prostrate walls, demolished barns, and 
flying stacks, they encountered in their progress, were enough to 
startle less observing animals than they are. Here was half an elm 
tree rolling about the country — there a thrashing-machine lifted to 
the skies. Our party made slow progress in their journey. The 
wind veered about, now catching their coats, now taking them in the 
rear, and now nearly blowing them over their horse's tails. The 
hounds, too, took advantage of the scrimmage ; some cut away home, 
while others hung back, or hurried before the horsemen. Had Mr. 
Jorrocks guessed it was any thing but a high wind, he would never 
have gone. 

There were few people astir, and the Borrowdale Turnpike-gate was 
still shut. " Gate ! gate ! gate I " roared Pigg. " Gate ! gate 1 
gate ! " shouted Mr. Jorrocks, but the wind scattered their voices in 
all directions. They were kept there for ten minutes at least, when 
Mr. Jorrocks had recourse to his horn, and gave it a twang that 
brought Tom Taketicket out in a hurry. 

" Bliss my heart ! " exclaimed he ; " is it you, Mr. Jorrocks ? — I 
thought it was the mail. Sure-lie you arn't goin' to hunt such a 
mornin' as this ? " 

" But I am," replied Mr. Jorrocks ; " and I'll thank you to hopen 
the gate. — Kept me here quite long enough. — Got to meet at the 
World Turned Hupside Down, and been bellerin' here for 'alf an hour 
and more. Here, take your pay ; I harn't got no copper, but there 
are three postage-stamps instead." 

Having got his stamps, Tom turned the key in the lock, and a 

blast blew the gate against the post with a crash that shivered it to 

splinters. — The party then jogged on. 

****** 

The " World Turned Upside Down " was one of those quiet way- 
side inns out of whose sails the march of railroads has taken the wind. 
It was a substantial old stone mansion, standing a little off the road, 
approached by a drive round a neatly cultivated oval-shaped garden, 
where, amid well-rolled gravel walks, and fantastically cut yews, 
swung a blue and gold sign bearing its name — " The World 
Turned Upside Down." A clustering vine covered one end of the 
bouse, and reached nearly up to the latticed windows in the stone 
roof, while luxuriant Irish ivy crept up to the very chimney-pots on 
the other ; rose-bushes and creepers were trained upon trellises in 
front, and altogether it was as pretty an aulerge as any in the lanq 



OR, MR. JORROCKS' 8 HUNT. 303 

It was a posting-house, though not exactly a first-rate one, inas- 
much as the stage on either side was short, and four-horse people 
generally went through ; but it was a favourite resort for newly- 
married couples, and was equally esteemed by stage-coachmen, who 
always made an excuse for pulling up at its honeysuckled porch. Its 
charges too were quite within comfortable compass, and one set of 
visitors recommended another set, instead of flying to the columns of 
the " Times " for consolation under the infliction of spurious, unre- 
quired wax, and other enormities. Venerable elms sheltered the ends 
of the house, and the side from the road opened into a spacious 
garden overlooking rich meadows, sloping away to a smoothly gliding 
stream, while distant hills closed the scene in circling greyness of 
romantic form. 

That was its summer aspect. On this eventful day things wore a 
different garb. As the hounds approached, Flash Jim's swell Talliho 
coach was seen resting against the bank, while the purple stream of 
life was fast flowing from a dying horse. The huge elms at the east 
end of the house were all uprooted, while one on the west had fallen 
with destructive crash upon the house, bearing down a whole stack of 
chimneys, and stripping the ivy off the wall. 

The blue and gold sign creaked and flapped in the wind, while the 
pride of the road, a yew-tree equestrian, was torn up by the roots, 
and dashed against the railing beyond. 

" Bliss my 'eart ! n exclaimed Jorrocks, eyeing the fallen horseman, 
" thafs too lad! Those great helms I wouldn't care about, but to 
ruin such a triumph of the h'art is too bad — cruel in the extreme." 
A cutting sleet came on, and a passer-by put up an umbrella, which 
was immediately turned inside out, and carried over the house-top. 
Mr. Jorrocks' s norse swerved, and nearly capsized him. 

" Let's get shelter," said he, making for the yard, " or ther'll be 
mischief, I'm blow'd if there won't." 

"Mine host," Jemmy Lush, or the "Old World," — as he was 
familiarly termed — was almost frantic. He, poor man, had retired 
to rest early, and almost the last thing he did, was to arrange seme 
twigs in the yew-tree horse-tail, and train a couple of shoots at the 
rider's heels for spurs. For twenty years the Old World had loved 
and nursed that tree ; it was the pride of the country ! Not a stage- 
coachman passed, but jerked his elbow at it ; and its image was 
engraven on the minds of hundreds of husbands and wives, now 
cultivating little olive-branches of their own, who had admired its 
symmetry in connexion with each other. 

" Oh, Mr. Jorrocks 1 " exclaimed Jemmy, waddling out of the 
house in his shirt-sleeves, his tapster's apron flying up to his bottle 
nose, displaying the substantial form of his garterless legs, and his 
breeches open at the knee ; " Oh, Mr. Jorrocks, Tm ruined, sir ! — 
I'm ruined ! — Tve lost my lush ! " and the poor man put his hand 
before his eyes to avert the sad calamity. 



304 HAWDLBY CROSS; 

* Never mind, old cook ! " replied Mr. Jorrocks, cheeringly grasping 
his hand as he spoke, " plant another, and I'll warrant you'll see it 
grow." 

"Never! never!" responded the Old World, sobbing as he 

spoke. "That man and hoss " and here his feelings choked 

his utterance. He would have said that Mrs. Jemmy and he 
planted it on their wedding-day, and had long regarded it as their 
first-born. 

The wind blew, the hail beat, the trees creaked, and seemed in- 
clined to follow their leaders, and our party, half benumbed, gladly 
sought the shelter of the Old World's barn. The poor hounds 
shivered, as if in the last stage of distemper ; and the horses' coats 
stared like Friesland hens' feathers. 

" Surely no man in his senses will come to 'unt such a day as this," 
observed Mr. Jorrocks, slackening his horse's girths as he spoke ; 
" would deserve to have a commission of lunacy taken out agin him 
for his pains if he did." 

Leaving Benjamin in the barn, Mr. Jorrocks and Pigg sought 
the shelter of the house. The wind had stove in the back door, and 
a venerable elm was prostrate before it. Scrambling through the 
branches, they at length gained admission, but the inside was almost 
as cheerless as the out. No fire — no singing kettle, for hot stopping, 
as was wont, and the elder wine-bottle remained in the cupboard. 
Bricks, soot, lime, dust, and broken furniture, strewed the house, and 
the " little Worlds " were huddled together in a corner, not knowing 
whether to be frightened or pleased. 

The " Old World " had thrown himself into an easy chair in the 
parlour, having taken the precaution of wrapping his wife's red 
petticoat about his shoulders to prevent his catching cold. " I shall 
never get over it," exclaimed he, as Mr. Jorrocks entered, whip in 
hand : " ruined, sir I — beggared ! — nothing left for me but the onion 
—the bastille ! " 

" Vy the vind has certain?^ paid you a hawf ul wisit," observed Mr. 
Jorrocks, looking at the trees lying across each other outside ; " but 
it would have been worser if it had broke them." 

" Oh, it's not them I cares about," exclaimed Jemmy, pulling the 
petticoat about his ears ; " it's not them, nor the great oak at the 
bottom of the field — kept the sun off the grass ; those are my land- 
lord's. It's my bush I'm bad about ; " and thereupon he pulled the 
petticoat up to his bottle nose, and burst into tears. 

" What ails the cull man ? " inquired Pigg, with a fine stream of 
tobacco, all clotted with dust, running from his mouth. 

" It's his beautiful bush," replied Mr. Jorrocks, in a whisper. 
" Didn't you see that the yew-tree 'oss and rider were torn up by the 
roots ? The Old World loved that bush." 

Pigg. — " Ord sink ! what's the use o' blubberin' about that ? there 
are plenty o' bushes left. There be twe fine hollins, he may cut inte 



OB, MB. JOBBOCKS'S HUNT. 



305 



what he likes, shot towers, steeples, or ought ; " saying which, Pigg 
left the room. 

" Come, cheer up, old buoy," said Mr. Jorrocks, soothingly, " and 
let's have a drop o' comfort. I declare I'm perfectly perished. Let's 
have bottoms of brandy. 'Ot with " 

At the word brandy," the Old World brightened up. He dived into 




AN EVENTFUL DAY. 



his apron pocket, and ringing the bell, ordered his misses to bring 
glasses and the bottle. 

Drink brings comfort to some minds, and Jemmy Lush's mind 
was of that description. With the first glass he said little ; the 
second, not much more, but the petticoat began to droop from his 
ears ; and at the third, he had it upon his shoulders. 

" It's an ill wind that blows nobody good," at length observed he, 



909 HANDLEY CROSS; 

with a sigh. " That great oak at the bottom of my meadow has 
been an eye-sore to me these twenty years. Its great ugly branches 
covered half an acre of land, and our squire never would have it 
lopped or cut down. Said he, l There's the finest view in the country 
from it — you see the river, and the ruins of the abbey, and the Gay- 
hurst hills in the distance/ and I don't know what ; the silly man 
forgetting, all the time, that he would see just the same things 
whether the tree was there or not ; and it spoiled as much grass as 
would have kept me a calf." 

" Great humbrageous beggar ! " observed Mr. Jorrocks ; adding, 
" I s'pose the tree would be worth summut ? " 

" No doubt," replied Jemmy. " But nothing like so valuable as 
my bush ; " and thereupon he heaved a sigh, and pulled the petticoat 
about his ears. 

Just then a man passed the window, with a couple of horses, and 
Mr. Jorrocks ran to look at him. He was dressed in a very old hat, 
with a new cockade in it, a faded green neckcloth, a stained red 
waistcoat, a fustian frock and trousers, with thick shoes and worsted 
stockings, and wore moustachios. He rode a weedy chestnut, and led 
an unhappy-looking grey, the latter decorated with a running martin- 
gale and a noseband, and sundry rings and contrivances. 

" Whose be those ? " inquired Mr. Jorrocks, with great importance. 

" Captain Smith and Lieutenant Brown," replied the soldier-groom 
saluting him. 

" Foot-cap tins, I presume ? " replied our Master, looking at their 
horses. 

" Grenadier company," replied the man. 

" It's all the same to me," replied Mr. Jorrocks. " They don't 
expect I'm agoin' to 'unt sich a day as this — do they ? " 

" Don't know," replied the man ; " got my orders last night, and 
in course I came on. 

" Then you'd better cut away and meet them, and say that unless 
good payin' subscribers, to the amount of thirty pounds, cast up, I 
shalln't cast oif j " adding, as he wheeled about, " Don't think any 
man with thirty pence he could call his own would turn out such a 
day as this." 

Mr. Jorrocks returned to the parlour, and was beginning a disser- 
tation upon hunting, when Pigg entered the room, with a spade over 
his shoulder, and addressed Jemmy Lush with — 

" Now gan and water your buss with your tears, 'ars gettin' it oop 
again." 

" No ! " exclaimed Jemmy, running to the window ; sure enough 
it was up, and two horse-keepers were busy securing it with ropes 
and strong posts. 

Jemmy Lush was half frantic. He threw the petticoat into the 
corner, and ran to the garden to embrace his old friend. Little 
mischief had ensued from its excursion. The rider's hat had got a* 



OR, MR. JORROCKS'S HUNT. 



307 



cast on one side, and the bit of the horse's bridle was broken ; but 
there was nothing that Jemmy's fatherly care would not easily 
rectify. 

Great was Jemmy's gratitude. He placed all the cold meat in his 
larder at Pigg's disposal, and as the storm abated and the party were 
about to set off, he insisted upon putting a bottle of brandy into each 
of Pigg's pockets. One of them, we are sorry to say, was broken on 
its journey home, by bumping against the back of his saddle. 

The " Paul Pry " of that week contained a long list of damage and 
disasters, and Mr. Jorrocks learnt from the heading of the article that 
he had been out in a " terrible hurricane." 

In his mem. of the day's doings in his Journal, he adds this 
passage from his friend Beckford : — 

" Take not out your 'ounds on a werry windy day." 



CHAPTER XXXIV. 



MR. MARMADUKE MULEYGRUBS. 

TOWARDS the close of a win- 
ter's day, a dirty old dog-cart, 
with " John Jorrocks, M.F.H." 
painted up behind, whisked from 
the turnpike up the well-laurelled 
drive of Cockolorum Hall. 

The hounds were to meet 
there in the morning, and Mr. 
Jorrocks had written to apprise 
his unknown host of his coming. 
Being rather late, and having a 
hack, Mr. Jorrocks had driven a 
turn faster than usual, and as he 
cut along the sound drive, the 
Hall was soon before him. 

It had originally been a large 
red-fronted farm-house, con- 
verted by a second owner into a 
villa ! increased by a third into 
a hall; while under the auspices 
of its present more aspiring 
master it was fast assuming the 
appearance of a castle. Massive 
stone towers, with loop-holed battlements, guarded the corners — 
imitation guns peered through a heavy iron palisade along the top 




DINNER IS SARVED. 



308 EANDLEY CROSS; 

— while a stone porch, with massive black nailed folding oak doors, 
stood out from the red walls of the centre. A richly-emblazoned 
flag, containing the quarterings of many families, floated from the 
roof. 

Mr. Marmaduke Muleygrubs had been a great stay-maker on 
Ludgate Hill, and, in addition to his own earnings (by no means 
inconsiderable), had inherited a large fortune from a great drysalting 
uncle in Bermondsey. On getting this he cut the shop, bought 
Cockolorum Hall, and having been a rampant Radical in the City, 
was rewarded by a J.P.-ship in the country. Mr. Jorrocks knew all 
about him, though Mr. Muleygrubs did not know he did. 

" Quite genteel, I declare," said Mr. Jorrocks, eyeing the mansion 
as he pulled up at the door, and clambered down his vehicle to give 
the massive bronze helmet-handled bell a pull. " Perfect castle," 
added he ; " 'opes I shalln't get soused," recollecting his last adven 
ture in one. 

The spacious folding-doors were presently opened by an ill-shaped, 
clumsy-looking youth, in a gorgeous suit of state livery, and a 
starched neck-cloth, so broad and so stiff as perfectly to pillorise him. 
A quantity of flour concealed the natural colour of his wild matted 
hair, while the ruddiness of a healthy complexion was heightened by 
a bright orange -coloured coat, with a white worsted shoulder-knot 
dangling at the side. His waistcoat was a broad blue and white 
stripe, breeches of scarlet plush, and white silk stockings, rather the 
worse for wear, as appeared by the darning up the calf ; stout ish 
shoes, with leather strings, completed the costume of this figure 
footman. 

" Now, young man ! " said Mr. Jorrocks in his usual free-and-easy 
way, " Now, young man ! jest stand by my nag while I takes out my 
traps, for I harn't brought no grum. — See, now," continued he, 
pulling out the gig-seat, "pat that i' my bed-room, and jest give 
them 'ere tops a rub over for the mornin'," producing a pair of mud- 
stained boots that he had worn the last day's hunting ; " it wern't no 
use bringin' a clean pair," observed he, half to himself and half to 
the servant, "for they'd a' got crumpled i' the comin' and those 
won't take no more cleanin'. Now, where's the stable ? Love me, 
love my 'oss," continued he, adjusting the reins in the territs, and 
preparing to lead round. 

" That way," said stiff-neck, extending his left arm like the wand 
of a telegraph, as he stood with the dirty top-boots in the other, 
saying which he wheeled about, and re-entered the house, leaving 
Mr. Jorrocks to find his way as he could. 

" Ah, never mind," said the worthy man to himself, seeing he was 
gone, " if I could find the 'ouse, be bund I can find the stable ; " 
saying which he turned his vehicle round, and following the old 
wheel-marks on the gravel, was very soon in the stable-yard at the 
back of the castle. 



OB, MB. JOBROCKS'S HUNT. 309 

Here he found another youth in red plush breeches and white silk 
stockings, washing his face at the cistern, purifying himself from the 
stable preparatory to appearing in the parlour. 

" Here, young man," said Mr. Jorrocks, " jest put up my 'oss afore 
ever you start to adorn yourself ; and if you take well care of him, 
I'll giYe you 'alf-a-crown i' the mornin'. He's a clipped 'un, and 
won't take no cleanin'," continued he, eyeing the smoking, curly- 
coated brute, and wondering whether the chap would believe him 
or not. 

This matter being arranged, Mr. Jorrocks ferreted his way back to 
the front, and, opening the door, passed through the green folding 
ones of the porch, and entered a hall beyond. This was fitted up in 
the baronial style. Above a spacious mantel-piece, occupying about 
a third of the apartment, branched an enormous stag's head> hung 
round with pistols, swords, cutlasses, and warlike weapons of various 
kinds, and the walls were covered with grim-visaged warriors, knights 
in armour, and ladies of bygone days. Many had their names painted 
in white at the bottom of the pictures, or done in black on the 
various patterned frames : there was Sir Martin Muleygrubs, and 
Dame Juliana Muleygrubs, and Darius Muleygrubs, and Erasmus 
Muleygrubs, and Mernnon Muleygrubs, and Pericles Muleygrubs, and 
Demosthenes Muleygrubs, and John Thomas Muleygrubs. 

" Such a lot of stay-makers ! " as Mr. Jorrocks observed. 

A full-length figure of Nemesis, the goddess of justice, with her 
balance in one hand and whip in the other, hung over a richly- 
carved, high-back, old oak chair ; and on a table near were ranged 
Burns's "Justice," "Statutes at Large," Archbold's "Magistrate's 
Pocket-book," and other emblems of the law. 

" The chap must be a leak ! " said Mr. Jorrocks aloud to himself, 
as he glanced them over. 

The fire threw a cheerful gleam over the baronial hall, and our 
master, having hung his hat on the stag's horns, and deposited his 
Siphonia on the table, took a coat-lap over each arm, and, establish- 
ing himself with his back to the fire, proceeded to hum what he 
considered a tune. His melody was interrupted by the partial 
opening and closing of a door on the right, followed by a lisping 
exclamation of — " Oh, ma ! here's Kitey come again ! " A " Hush, 
my dear," and scuttling along the passage, reminded Mr. Jorrocks 
that he was not at home, so, dropping his tails, and pulling his wig 
straight, he made for the recently opened door. 

This let him into a passage, lighted with flickering, ill-established 
lamps, along which he kept till he came to a pink sheep-skin mat 
before a door, at which he paused, and presently turning off, he en- 
tered a room, in which he found a lady and a bunch of excited child- 
ren. The former rose, and concluding she would be the " missis," 
Mr. Jorrocks tendered the hand of fellowship i and then gave each 
child a chuck under the chin ; nor was he wrong in his conjecture, 

4A 



310 HANDLEY CROSS; 

for Mrs. Marmaduke Muleygrubs immediately began apologising foi 
the absence of her lord. 

" Duke," she said, " was unfortunately engaged at that moment 
with some important justice business " — (decanting the wine). 

Mr. Jorrocks " 'Oped his grace wouldn't 'urry himself." 

" It was very provoking," she continued, without regarding Mr. 
Jorrocks's observation ; " but the whole county came to him for 
justice, and Duke could hardly be said to have a moment to himself. 
Every Saturday he was engaged the whole day on the bench, and at 
the Poor-Law Guardians, but she hoped before long they would find 
some more people fit to make magistrates of, for really it was taxing 
ability rather too highly. Not but that Duke's affection for the 

Queen would prompt him to serve her as long as he could, but " 

Just as she had got so far, the door opened, and Duke himself ap- 
peared, smoothing down his cuffs after the exercise of his magisterial 
functions. 

He was a little, round-about, pot-bellied, red-faced, bald-headed, 
snub-nosed, chattering chap, who, at first sight, would give one the 
idea of being very good-natured, if it were not notorious that he was 
the most meddling, officious, ill-conditioned little beggar in the county. 

He was dressed in one of the little nondescript jackets of the day, 
with a "ditto" waistcoat, drab kerseymeres, and leather leggings. 
Over his waistcoat he sported a broad mosaic gold chain, made to re- 
semble a country mayor's as much as possible. 

" Mr. Jorrocks, I presume," said he, rubbing his fat hands as he 
advanced up the room. 

" Right ! " replied our Master, extending his hand. 

" Beg ten thousand pardons for not being here to receive you," 
said Duke, intending to be very gracious. 

" Make no apology," interrupted Mr. Jorrocks ; " where there's 
ceremony there's no frindship." 

" Been bored with justice business all the afternoon," continued 
Mr. Muleygrubs ; " bailing a bull that was unjustly put in the pound. 
You are not in the Commission of the Peace, perhaps ? " 

" Not I," replied Mr. Jorrocks carelessly ; " never was in any com- 
mission, save one, as agent for Twankay's mexed teas, and a precious 
commission it was — haiv ! liaiv ! haiv ! — lost three 'underd pund by 
it, and more. But, however, rtimporle, as we say in France. Werry 
glad to come here to partake o' your hospitality, — brought my night- 
cap with me, in course, — a rule o' mine, that where I dine I sleep, 
and where I sleep I breakfast. Don't do to churn one's dinner up, — 
'ow long does't want to feedin' time ? " 

Mr. Marmaduke was rather posed with his guest's familiarity. He 
intended to patronise Mr. Jorrocks, whereas the latter seemed to think 
himself on a perfect footing of equality. Not in the Commission of 
the Peace, either ! But then Duke didn't know that Mr. Jorrocks 
knew about the stays. 



OR, MR. JORROCKS'S HUJsT. 311 

Pulling out a great gold watch, our host asked his wife what time 
they dined. (Duke included the kitchen department in his magis* 
terial functions.) 

" Half-past six, my dear," replied his wife, with great humility. 

" "Wants twenty minutes to six," observed Mr. Marmaduke, striking 
the repeater. " Perhaps you'd like to take something before dinner — 
sandwich and a glass of sherry ? " 

" Never touch lunches," replied Mr. Jorrocks, c.sdain fully. 
Never know'd a chap good for nothin' wot did. Wonde,': you don't 
dine at a reasonable hour, though," added he. 

" Faith, we think half-past six rather early," replied Mr Muley- 
grubs ; " seven's our usual hour — same as my friend Onger's — but 
we have some neighbours coming, and made it a little earlier on their 
account." 

" Well, it'll be so much the worse for your grub when it does 
come," observed Mr. Jorrocks ; "for I'm well-nigh famished as it is. 
Howsomever that reminds me that I've a letter to write ; and if 
you'll let me 'ave a peep at your ' Directory,' " continued he, advanc- 
ing towards a round table well garnished with gilt-edged books, " I'll 
look out the feller's address, for there's nothin' like do in' things when 
they're in one's mind, and " 

"'Directory ! '" exclaimed Mr. Muleygrubs, "that's a 'Peer- 
age!'" 

" Bother your Peerages ! " muttered Mr. Jorrocks, chucking the 
costly volume down ; adding, aloud to himself, " Wot business ha' 
you wi' Peerages, I wonder ? " 

Mrs. Muley grubs looked at our Master with an air of commiseration. 
She wondered what her husband was making such a fuss about such 
a man for. 

" Well, now then," said Mr. Jorrocks, turning short round and 
button-holeing his host, while he looked at him as Muleygrubs would 
at an unwilling witness ; " Well, now then, tell me 'bout the foxes — 
'ave you plenty on 'em ? " 

" Plenty ! " replied Muleygrubs, with the utmost confidence, for 
he had just received a very fine dog one from the well-known Mr. 
Diddler, of Leadenhall Market, who, by dint of stealing back as fast 
as he supplies, manages to carry on a very extensive business with a 
very small stock in trade. 

" Plenty ! " repeated Muleygrubs, with the same confident tone. 

" That's yood" said Mr. Jorrocks, winking and poking him in the 
ribs ; " that's yood — for though I'm 'appy to dine wi' people, yet still 
the 'unt is the real thing I comes for ; and I always says to folks wot 
ask me to stir hup their covers, ' Now, don't let us 'ave any 'umbug. 
if you haven't foxes,' say I, ' don't pretend that you 'ave, for the 
truth must out, if my 'ounds come, and it will only be addin' the wica 
o' falsehood to the himputation o' selfishness, sayin' you 'ave them i/ 
you 'aven't.' " 

A A 2 



312 HANDLE Y CROSS; 

"Just so" assented Mr. Muleygrubs, congratulating himself on 
having excused himself from either charge. 

Mr. Jorrocks, having thus broken the ice, proceeded, in a most 
energetic manner, to give Mr. Muleygrubs his opinions upon a variety 
of subjects connected with the chase, the breeding and rearing of 
hounds, the difference of countries, the mischief of too much inter- 
ference, killing above ground and digging, uncertainty of scent, signs 
and indications, with a glance at the impositions of keepers, all of 
which, being Hebrew to Mrs. Muleygrubs, and very nearly Hebrew to 
her husband, caused her to slink quietly away with her chicks, leav- 
ing her husband to the mercy of the" extraordinary man " he had been 
so indiscreet as invite. 

Poor Mr. Muleygrubs couldn't get a word in sideways, and was 
sitting the perfect picture of despair, when rumble, du/nble, dumble, 
dumble, went a great gong, startling Mr. Jorrocks, who thought it 
was another hurricane. 

" An old-fashioned custom we still preserve," said Mr. Marmaduke 
casually, observing Mr. Jorrocks's astonishment ; " that gong was 
brought by one of my ancestors from the holy wars — shall I show you 
to your room ? " 

" If you please," said Mr. Jorrocks. 

Our Master, of course, had the state room. It was a large gloomy 
apartment, with a lofty four-post bed, whose top hangings were made 
of green silk, and curtains of green moreen. 

" Here's a fine twopenny 'ead and farthin' tail," observed Mr. 
Jorrocks, whisking his candle about as he examined it. 

The absence of fire, and the coldness of the apartment holding out 
little inducement for dallying, Mr. Jorrocks was soon in his blue coat 
and canaries, and returned to the drawing-room just as the stiff- 
necked boy announced Mr., Mrs., and Miss Slowan, who were quickly 
followed by Mr. and Miss De Green, who apologised for the absence 
of Mrs. De Green, who was suffering under a violent attack of tic* 
doloreux. 

The Rev. Jacob Jones having combed his hair and changed his 
shoes in the entrance, announced himself, and Professor Girdlestone, 
a wandering geologist, having dressed in the house, the party was 
complete, and Mr. Muleygrubs gave two pulls at the bell, while the 
party sat staring at each other, or wandering moodily about as people 
at funerals and set parties generally do. 

" Dinner is sarved I " at length exclaimed the stiff-necked foot- 
boy, advancing into the centre of the room, extending his right arm 
like a guide-post. He then wheeled out, and placed himself at the 
head of a line of servants, formed by the gentleman Mr. Jorrocks 
had seen in the yard ; a square-built old man, in the Muleygrubs 
livery of a coachman ; Mr. De Green's young man in pepper-and-salt, 
with black velveteens ; and Mr. Slowan's ditto, in some of his 
master's old clothes. These lined thf- baronial halt, through which 



OR, MR. JORBOCKS'S HUNT. 313 

i»he party passed to the dining-room. M nicy grubs (who was now 
attired in a Serjeant's coat, with knee-buckled breeches and black 
silk stockings) offered his arm to Mrs. Slowan, Mr. De Green took 
Miss Slowan, the Professor paired off with Miss De Green, and Mr. 
Jorrocks brought up the rear with Mrs. Muleygrubs, leaving Jacob 
Jones and Mr. Slowan to follow at their leisure. This party of ten 
was the result of six-and-twenty invitations. 



" Vot, you've three o' these poodered puppies, have you ? " observed 
Mr. Jorrocks, as they passed along the line ; adding, " You come it 
strong ! " 

" We can't do with less," replied the lady, the cares of dinner 
strong upon her. 

" Humph I Well, I doesn't know 'bout that/' grunted Mr. Jorrocks, 
forcing his way up the room, seizing and settling himself into a chair 
on his hostess' right ; " Well, I doesn't know 'bout that," repeated 
he, arranging his napkin over his legs, " women waiters agin the 
world, say I ! I'll back our Batsay, big and 'ippy as she is, to beat 
any two fellers at waitin'." 

Mrs. Muleygrubs, anxious as she was for the proper arrangement 
of her guests, caught the purport of the foregoing, and, woman-like, 
darted a glance of ineffable contempt at our friend. 

Our Master, seeing he was not likely to find a good listener at this 
interesting moment, proceeded to reconnoitre the room, and make 
mental observations on the unaccustomed splendour. 

The room was a blaze of light. Countless compos swealed and 
simmered in massive gilt candelabras, while ground lamps of various 
forms lighted up the salmon-coloured walls, brightening the coun- 
tenances of many ancestors, and exposing the dulness of the ill- 
cleaned plate. 

The party having got shuffled into their places, the Rev. Jacob 
Jones said an elaborate grace, during which the company stood. 

" I'll tell you a rum story about grace," observed Mr. Jorrocks to 
Mrs. Muleygrubs, as he settled himself into his seat, and spread his 
napkin over his knees. "It 'appened at Croydon. The landlord o' 
the Grey-'ound told a wise waiter, when a Duke axed him a question, 
always to say Grace. According the Duke o' Somebody, in changin' 
'osses, popped his 'ead out o' the chay, and inquired wot o'clock it 
was. — ' For wot we're a goin' to receive the Lord make us truly 
thankful,' replied the waiter." 

Mrs. Muleygrubs either did not understand the story, or was too 
intent upon other things ; at all events, Mr. Jorrocks's haw I haw ! 
haw ! was all that greeted its arrival. — But to dinner. 

There were two soups — at least two plated tureens, one containing 
pea-soup, the other mutton-broth. Mr. Jorrocks said he didn't like 
the latter, it always reminded him of " a cold in the 'ead." The 



314 HANDLEY CROSS; 

pea-soup he thought werry like oss-gruel ; — that he kept tc 

himself. 

* ■* * ■* * * 

" Sherry or My-dearer ? " inquired the stiff-necked boy, going 
round with a decanter in each hand, upsetting the soup-spoons, and 
dribbling the wine over people's hands. 

While these were going round, the coachman and Mr. De Green's 
boy entered with two dishes of fish. On removing the large plated 
covers, six pieces of skate and a large haddock made their appearance. 
Mr. Jorrocks's countenance fell five-and-twenty per cent., as he would 
say. He very soon despatched one of the six pieces of skate, and was 
just done in time to come in for the tail of the haddock. 

* * * # * * 

" The Duke 'ill come on badly for fish, I'm thinkin'," said Mr. 
Jorrocks, eyeing the empty dishes as they were taken off. 

" Oh, Marmaduke don't eat fish," replied Mrs. M. 

" Oh, I doesn't mean your Duke, but the Duke o' Kutland," re- 
joined Mr. Jorrocks. 

Mrs. Muleygrubs didn't take. 

" Nothin' left for Manners, I mean, mum," explained Mr. Jorrocks, 
pointing to the empty dish. 

Mrs. Muleygrubs smiled, because she thought she ought, though 
she did not know why. 

" Sherry or My-dearer, sir ? " inquired the stiff-necked boy, going 
his round as before. 

Mr. Jorrocks asked Mrs. Muleygrubs to take wine, and having 
satisfied himself that the sherry was bad, he took My-dearer, which 
was worse. 

"Bad ticket, I fear," observed Mr. Jorrocks aloud to himself, 
smacking his lips. " Have ye any swipes ? " 

" Sober-water and Seltzer-water," replied the boy. 

" 'Ang your sober-water ! " growled Mr. Jorrocks. 

" Are you a hard rider, Mr. Jorrocks ? " now asked his hostess, still 
:h inking anxiously of her dinner. 

" 'Ardest in England, mum," replied our friend confidently, mut- 
tering aloud to himself, " may say that, for I never goes off the 'ard 
road if I can 'elp it." 

* * * * * * 

After a long pause, during which the conversation gradually died 
out, a kick was heard at the door, which the stiff-necked foot-boy 
having replied to by opening, the other boy appeared, bearing a tray, 
followed by all the other flunkeys, each carrying a silver-covered dish. 

" Come that's more like the thing," said Mr. Jorrocks aloud to 
himself, eyeing the procession. 

A large dish was placed under the host's nose, another under that 
of Mrs. Muleygrubs. 



OR, MR. JORROCKS'S HUNT. 316 

" Roast beef and boiled turkey ? " said Mr. Jorrocks to himself, 
half inclined to have a mental bet on the subject. " May be saddle 
o' mutton and chickens," continued he, pursuing the speculation. 

Four T. Cox Savory side-dishes, with silver rims and handles, next 
took places, and two silver-covered china centra dishes completed the 
arrangement. 

" You've lots o' plate," observed Mr. Jorrocks to Mrs. Muleygrubs, 
glancing down the table. 

" Can't do with less," replied the lady. 

Stiffneck now proceeded to uncover, followed by his comrade. He 
began at his master, and, giving the steam-begrimed cover a flourish 
in the air, favoured his master's bald head with a hot shower-bath. 
Under pretence of admiring the pattern, Mr. Jorrocks had taken a 
peep under the side-dish before him, and seeing boiled turnips, had 
settled that there was a round of beef at the bottom of the table. 
Spare ribs presented themselves to view. Mrs. Muleygrubs's dish 
held a degenerate turkey, so lean and so lank that it looked as if it 
had been starved instead of fed. There was a rein-deer tongue under 
one centre dish, and sausages under the other. Minced veal, for- 
bidding-looking Rissoles, stewed celery, and pigs' feet occupied the 
corner dishes. 

" God bless us I what a dinner ! " ejaculated Mr. Jorrocks, in- 
voluntarily. 

" Game and black-puddings coming, isn't there, my dear ? " in- 
quired Mr. Muleygrubs of his wife. 

"Yes, my dear, responded his obedient half. 

" ' Murder most foul, as in the best it is ; 
But this most foul, base, and unnattaral,' " 

muttered Mr. Jorrocks, running his fork through the breast of the 
unhappy turkey. " Shall I give you a little ding dong f " 

" It's turkey," observed the lady. 

" True ! " replied Mr. Jorrocks ; " ding dong's French for turkey." 

" Are yours good hounds, Mr. Jorrocks ? " now asked the lady, 
thinking how awkwardly he was carving. 

" Bestgoin\ mum ! " replied our friend. " Best goin', mum. The 
Belvoir may be 'andsomer, and the Quorn patienter under pressure, 
but for real tear-'im and heat-'im qualities, there are none to compare 
wi' mine. They're the buoys for making the foxes cry Capevi ! " 
added our friend, with a broad grin of delight on his ruddy face. 

" Indeed," mused the anxious lady to whom our friend's compari- 
sons were all gibberish. 

" Shall I give anybody any turkey ? " asked he, holding nearly 
half of it up on the fork preparatory to putting it on his own plate. 
Nobody claimed it, so our friend appropriated it. 

Munch, munch, munch was then the order of the day. Conversa- 



316 HANDLEY CROSS, 

tion was very dull, and the pop and foam of a solitary bottle of 40s.- 
champagne, handed round much after the manner of liqueur, did 
little towards promoting it. Mr. Jorrocks was not the only person 
who wondered " what had set him there." Mrs. Muleygrubs at- 
tempted to relieve her agonies of anxiety by asking occasional 
questions of her guest. 

" Are yours greyhounds, Mr. Jorrocks ? " asked she with the 
greatest simplicity. 

" No ; greyhounds, no : what should put that i' your 'ead ? " 
grunted our Master with a frown of disgust ; adding, as he gnawed 
away at the stringy drumstick, " wouldn't take a greyhound in a gift." 

The turkey being only very so-so, and the rein-deer tongue rather 
worse, Mr. Jorrocks did not feel disposed to renew his acquaintance 
with either, and placing his knife and fork resignedly on his plate, 
letermined to take his chance of the future. He remembered that in 
France the substantiate sometimes did not come till late on. 

Stiffneck, seeing his idleness, was presently at him with the dish of 
mince. 

Mr. Jorrocks eyed it suspiciously, and then stirred the sliced 
lemon and meat about with the spoon. He thought at first of taking 
some, then he thought he wouldn't, then he fixed he wouldn't. 
" No," said he, "no," motioning it away with his hand, "no, I likes 
*o chew my own meat." 

The rissoles were then candidates for his custom. 

" Large marbles," observed Mr. Jorrocks aloud to himself — " large 
marbles," repeated he, as he at length succeeded in penetrating the 
hide of one with a spoon. " Might as well eat lead," observed he 
aloud, sending them away too. 

" I often thinks now," observed he, turning to his hostess, " that it 
would be a good thing, mum, if folks would 'gree to give up these 
stupid make-believe side-dishes, mum, for nobody ever eats them, at 
least if they do they're sure to come off second best, for no cuk that 
ever was foaled can do justice to sich a wariety of wittles." 

" I. but, Mr. Jorrocks, how could you send up a dinner properly 
without them ? " exclaimed the lady with mingled horror and 
astonishment. 

" Properly without them, mum," repeated our master, coolly and 
deliberately ; " properly without them, mum — why that's jest wot I 
was meanin'," continued he. " You see your cuk 'as sich a multitude 
o' things to do, that it's hutterly unpossible for her to send them all 
in properly, so 'stead o' gettin' a few things well done, ye get a great 
many only badly done." 

" Indeed ! " fumed the lady, bridling with contempt. 

" The great Duke o' Wellington — no 'fence to the present one." 
observed Mr. Jorrocks, with a low bow to the table — "who, I'm 
proud to say gets his tea o' me too, — the great Duke o' Wellington, 
oiu'8 used to say, mum, that the reason why one seldom got a hegg 



OR, MR. JORROCKS'S HUNT. 317 

well biled was, 'cause the cuk was always a doin' summut else at the 
same time, and that hobservation will apply purty well to most 
coking hoperations." 

" Well, then, you'd have no plate on the table, I presume, Mr Jor- 
rocks ? " observed the irascible lady. 

" Plate on the table, mum — plate on the table, mum," repeated 
Mr. Jorrocks, with the same provoking prolixity, "why I really 
doesn't know that plate on the table's of any great use. I minds the 
time when folks thought four silver side-dishes made gen'Pmen on 
'em, but since these Brummagem things turned hup, they go for a 
bit o' land — land's the ticket now," observed our Master. 

While this unpalatable conversation — unpalatable, at least, to our 
hostess was going on, the first course was being removed, and a large, 
richly-ornamented cold game-pie made its appearance, which was 
placed before Mr. Muleygrubs. 

" Large tart ! " observed Mr. Jorrocks, eyeing it, thinking if he 
could help himself he might yet manage to make up his lee-way : 
"thought there was dark puddins comin'," observed he to his 
hostess. 

" Game and black puddings," replied Mrs. Muleygrubs. " This 
comes between courses always." 

" Never saw it afore," observed Mr. Jorrocks. 

Mr. Marmaduke helped the pie very sparingly, just as he had seen 
the butler at Onger Castle helping a pdte de fois gras ; and putting 
as much on to a plate as would make about a mouthful and a half to 
each person, he sent Stiffneck round with a fork to let people help 
themselves. Fortunately for Mr. Jorrocks, neither Mr. nor Miss De 
Green, nor Miss Slowan nor Mr. Muleygrubs took any, and the un- 
touched plate coming to him, he very coolly seized the whole, while 
the foot-boy returned to the dismayed Mr. Muleygrubs for more. 
Putting a few more scraps on a plate, Mr. Muleygrubs sent off the 
pie, lest any one should make a second attack. 

By dint of playing a good knife and fork, our friend cleared his 
plate just as the second course made its appearance. This consisted 
of a brace of partridges guarding a diminutive snipe at the top, and 
three links of black pudding at the bottom — stewed celery, potato 
chips, puffs, and tartlets forming the side-dishes. 

" Humph ! " grunted our friend, eyeing each dish as it was un- 
covered. " Humph ! " repeated he — " not much there — three 
shillins for the top dish, one for the bottom, and eighteen-pence say 
for the four sides — five and six — altogether — think I could do it for 
five. Howsomever, never mind," continued he, drawing the dish of 
game towards him. " Anybody for any gibier, as we say in France ?" 
asked he, driving his fork into the breast of the plumpest of the 
partridges. Nobody closed with the offer. 

" Pr'aps if you'd help it, and let it be handed round, some one will 
take some," suggested Mr. Muleygrubs. 



318 HANDLET CROSS; 

" Well," said Mr. Jorrocks, " I've no objection — none wotever— 
only, while these clumsey chaps o' yours are runnin' agin each other 
with it, the wittles are coolin' — that's all," said our Master, placing 
half a partridge on a plate, and delivering it up to go on its travels. 
Thinking it cut well, Mr. Jorrocks placed the other half on his own 
plate, and taking a comprehensive sweep of the crumbs and bread 
sauce, proceeded to make sure of the share by eating a mouthful of 
it. He need not have been alarmed, for no one came for any, and he 
munched and cranched his portion in peace. He then ate the snipe 
almost at a bite. 

" What will you take next, Mr. Jorrocks ? " asked his hostess, dis- 
gusted at his rapacity. 

" Thank 'ee, mum, thank 'ee," replied he, munching and clearing 
his mouth ; " thank 'ee," mum, added he, " I'll take breath if you 
please, mum," added he, throwing himself back in his chair. 

" Have you killed many hares, Mr. Jorrocks ? " now asked his 
persevering hostess, who was sitting on thorns as she saw an entering 
dish of blancmange toppling to its fall. 

" No, mum, none ! " responded our Master, vehemently, for he had 
an angry letter in his pocket from Captain Slaughter's keeper, com- 
plaining bitterly of the recent devastation of his hounds — a calamity 
that of course the keeper made the most of, inasmuch as friend Jor- 
rocks, as usual, had forgotten to give him his " tip." 

Our innocent hostess, however, never listened for the answer, for 
the blancmange having landed with the loss only of a corner tower, 
for it was in the castellated style of confectionery, she was now all 
anxiety to see what sort of a savoury omelette her drunken job-cook 
would furnish, to remove the black puddings at the other end of the 
table. 

During this interval, our Master having thrust his hands deep in 
the pockets of his canary-coloured shorts, reconnoitered the table to 
see who would either ask him to take wine, or who he should honour 
that way ; but not seeing any very prepossessing phiz, and recollect- 
ing that Mrs. J. had told him the good old-fashioned custom was 
" wulgar," he was about to help himself from a conveniently-placed 
decanter, when Stiffneck, seeing what he was at, darted at the 
decanter, and passing behind Mr. Jorrocks's chair, prepared to fill to 
his holding, when, missing his aim, he first sluiced our Master's 
hand, and then shot a considerable quantity of sherry down his sleeve. 

" Rot ye, ye great lumberin' beggar ! " exclaimed Mr. Jorrocks, 
furiously indignant ; " Rot ye, do ye think I'm like Miss Biffin, the 
unfortunate lady without harms or legs, that I can't 'elp myself?" 
continued he, dashing the wet out of his spoon cuff. " Now, that's 
the wust o' your flunkey fellers," continued he in a milder tone to 
Mrs. Muleygrubs, as the laughter the exclamation caused had sub- 
sided. " That's the wust o' your flunkey fellers," repeated he, mop- 
ping his arm ; " they know they'd never be fools enough to keep 



OB, MB. JOBBOCKS'S HUNT. 



319 



fellers to do nothin', and so they think they must be constantly 
meddlin'. Now, your women waiters are quite different," continued 
he ; " they only try for the useful, and not for the helegant. There's 
no flash 'bout them. If they see a thing's under your nose, they let 
you reach it, and don't bring a dish that's steady on the table round 




MR. JORROCKS GETS A LITTLE " M Y'-DEARER " DOWN HIS SLEEVE. 



at your back to tremble on their 'ands under your nose. Besides,' 
added our Master, " you never see a bosky Batsay waiter, which is 
more than can be said of all dog un's." 

" But you surely couldn't expect ladies to be waited upon by 
women, Mr. Jorrocks," exclaimed his astonished hostess. 

" I would though," replied our Master, firmly, with a jerk of his 
head — "I would though — I'd not only 'ave them waited upon by 



330 HANDLEY CROSS; 

women, but I'd have them served by women i' the shops, 'stead o 1 
those nasty dandified counter-skippin' Jackanapes, wot set up their 
iiimperences in a way that makes one long to kick 'em." 

" How's that, Mr. Jorrocks ? " asked the lady with a smile, at his 
ignorance. 

" 'Ow's that, mum ? " repeated our Master—" 'Ow's that ? Why, 
by makin' you run the gauntlet of pr'aps a double row o' these 
poopies, one holloain' out — * Wot shall I show you to-day, mum ? ' 
Another, * Now, mum ! French merino embroidered robes ! ' A 
jhird, ' Paisley and French wove shawls, mum ! or Eussian sables ! 
chinchillas ! hermines ! ' or ' Wot's the next harticle, mum ? ' as if a 
soman's — I beg pardon — a lady's wants were never to be satisfied — 
Oh dear, and with Christmas a comin' on," shuddered Mr. Jorrocks, 
with upraised hands ; " wot a lot o' squabbles and contentions 'ill 
shortly be let loose upon the world — bonnets, ribbons, sarsnets, 
bombazeens, things that the poor paymasters expected 'ad come out 
of the 'ouse money, or been paid for long ago." 

While Mr. Jorrocks was monopolising the attention of the com- 
pany by the foregoing domestic " lector " as it may be called, the 
denounced domestics were clearing away the sweets, and replacing 
them with a dish of red herrings, and a very strong-smelling, brown 
soapey-looking cheese. 

Our Master, notwithstanding his efforts, being still in arrear with 
his appetite, thought to "fill up the chinks," as he calls it, with 
cheese, so he took a liberal supply as the plate came round — nearly 
the half of it in fact. 

He very soon found out his mistake. It was strong, and salt, 
and leathery, very unlike what Paxton and Whitfield supplied 
him with. 

" Good cheese ! Mr. Jorrocks," exclaimed his host, up the table ; 
11 good cheese, eh ? " 

" Humph ! " grunted our Master, munching languidly at it. 

" Excellent cheese, don't you think so, Mr. Jorrocks ? " asked his 
host, boldly. 

" C-h-i-e-1-dren," drawled our Master, pushing away his unfinished 
plate, " would eat any q-u-a-a-n-tity of it." 

The clearing of the table helped to conceal the ill-suppressed titter 
of the company. 

And now with the dessert came an influx of little Muleygrubs, whc 
had long been on guard in the passage intercepting the return viands, 
much to the nurse's annoyance, lest they should stain their red- 
ribboned white frocks, or disorder their well-plastered hair. The 
first glare of light being out of their eyes, they proceed to distribute 
themselves according to their respective notions of good-natured 
faces ; Magdalene Margery going to Mrs. Slowan, Leonora Lucretw 
to Miss De Green, and Victoria Jemima to Mr. Jorrocks, who forth- 
with begins handling her as he would a hound. 



OR, MB. JOMBOCKS'S HUNT. V£\ 

" And 'ow old are you, Sir ? " asks he, mistaking her sex. 

" That's a girl," explained Mrs. Muleygrubs ; " say four, my dear." 

Mr. Jorroclcs. — " Oharmin' child ! " (aloud to himself) " little 
bore." 

" And wot do they call you, my little dear ? " asked he ; 
" ' Gravity/— « Notable,'—' Habigail/— < Mischief,' p'r'aps ? " added 
he, running over the names of some of his lady hounds. 

" No : Victoria," — " Victoria, what ? " asked mamma. 

" Victoria Jemima," lisped the child. 

"Ah, Wictoria Jemima," repeated Mr. Jorrocks. "Wictoria 
Jemima — Wictoria arter the Queen, I presume ; Jemima arter who ? 
arter mamma, I des say." 

Mrs. Muleygrubs smiled assent. 

" Werry purty names both on 'em," observed Mr. Jorrocks. 

" And 'ow many pinches did the nus give your cheeks to make them 
this pretty pink ? " asks our Master, making a long arm at the figs. 

" Thre-e~e" drawled the child. 

" Hush ! nonsense 1 " frowned Mrs. Muleygrubs, holding up a fore- 
finger. 

" She d-i-i-i-d 1 " whined the child, to the convulsion of the 
company. 

" No, no, no," responded Mrs. Muleygrubs, with an ominous shake 
of the head, and trying to direct her attention to a dish of sticky 
sweets that were just placed within reach. 

" How many children have you, Mr. Jorrocks ? " now asked the 
lady, thinking to pay him off for some of his gaucheries. 

" 'Ow many chi-e-1-dren 'ave I, mum," repeated Mr. Jorrocks, 
thoughtfully. " 'Ow many chi-e-1-dren 'ave I. Legally speakin', 
mum, none." — " Chi-e-1-dren," continued our Master, dry-shaving his 
stubbly chin, " are certain cares, but werry uncertain comforts, as my 
old mother said when I hupset her snuff-box into the soup." 

" Oh dear, I'm afraid you've been a sad mischievous boy, Mr. Jor- 
rocks," observed the lady, motioning Stiffneck to put the almond- 
backed sponge-cake rabbit straight on the table. 

" Poopeys and buoys never good for nothin' unless they are — 'Opes 
yours are well found that way ? " 

The enquiry was lost upon the lady, who was now in a state of 
desperate tribulation at seeing Stiffneck secundus bent on placing a 
second course sweet on the table instead of the dessert dish. A 
significant cough, and a slight inclination of the head drew Stiff- 
neck's attention to the mistake, and our hostess has at length the 
satisfaction of seeing all things in their right places. Apples, pears, 
foreign grapes, all sorts of unwholesome fruit, having been duly 
handed round, the wine next set out on its travels ; and Mr. Jor- 
rocks, who had looked in vain for a water-biscuit, again turned his 
attention to the now lip-licking child. 

" Well, my little dear," said he, stroking down her head, and then 



322 HANDLBY CBOSS ; 

temptit^ her to rise to a piece of sponge-cake held above her nose, 
"well, my little dear," repeated he, giving her it, "do you like 
barley-sugar ? " 

" Yeth, and thugar candy," lisped the child. 

Mr. Jorroclcs. — " Ah, sugar candy ; sugar candy's grand stuff. I 
sell sugar candy." 

Victoria Jemima (in amazement). — " Thell thugar candy ! I 
thought you were a gempleman ! " 

Mr. Jorroclcs. — " A commercial gen'leman, my dear ! " 

Victoria Jemima. — " Not a great gempleman like Pa ? " 

Mr. Jorroclcs (with humility). — " No ; not a great gempleman like 
Pa. He's a Peerage man, I'm only a Post Hoffice Directory one," 
Mr. Jorrocks looking slyly at his host as he said it. " Howsomever, 
never mind," continued our Master, helping himself liberally as the 
fleet of bottles again anchored before him, "Howsomever, never 
mind ; when you comes to see me at Andley Cross, I'll give you a 
pund o' sugar candy, and show you my 'ounds," added he, passing 
the bottles. 

" And the dear ! " exclaimed the delighted child. 

" Bear, my dear ! I've no bear," replied Mr. Jorrocks soberly. 

Mrs. Muleygrubs (with a frown, and a fore-finger held up as 
before). — "Hush, Victoria Jemima! don't talk nonsense." 

Victoria Jemima (pouting). — " W-a-l-e m-a-a-r, you know you said 
Mr. Jonnocks was next door to a bear." 

Mrs. Muleygrubs, whose quick apprehension saw the mischief her 
daughter was drawing up to, cannoned a smiling glance at Mrs. 
Slowan off on Miss De Green on the opposite side of the table, and 
rose, vowing as she drove the party out before her, that one ought 
" never to say any thing before children." 



CHAPTER XXXV. 

THE TWO PROFESSORS. 



The ladies being gone, the usual inquiries of "Are you warm 
enough here, sir ? " " Won't you take an arm-chair ? " " Do you 
feel the door ? " having been made and responded to, the party closed 
up towards Mr. Muleygrubs, who now assumed the top of the table, 
each man sticking out his legs, or hanging an arm over the back of 
his chair, as suited his ease and convenience. Mr. Jorrocks, being 
the stranger, the politeness of the party was directed to him. 

" Been in this part of the country before, sir ? " inquired Professor 
Girdlestone, cornering his chair towards Professor Jorrocks. 

" In course I 'ave," replied Mr. Jorrocks ; " I 'unts the country 




*w mmim 



THE JUVENILE MULEYGRUB5. 



OB, MB. JOBBOCKS'S HUNT. ^2S 

and am in all parts of it at times — ven I goes out of a mornin i 
doesn't know where I may be afore night." 

" Indeed ! " exclaimed the Professor. " Delightful occupation ! n 
continued he : " what opportunities you have of surveying nature in 
all her moods, and admiring her hidden charms ! Did you ever 
observe the extraordinary formation of the hanging rocks about a 
mile and a half to the east of this ? The " 

"I ran a fox into them werry rocks, I do believe," interrupted 
Mr. Jorrocks, brightening up. "We found at Haddington Steep, 
and ran through Nosterley Firs, Crampton Haws, and Fitchin Park, 
where we had a short check, owin' to the stain o' deer, but I hit off 
the scent outside, like a workman as I am, and we ran straight down 
to these werry rocks, when all of a sudden th' 'ounds threw up, and I 
was certain he had got among 'em. Yell, I gets a spade and a 
tarrier, and I digs, and digs, and houks as my Scotch 'untsman calls it, 
till near night, th' 'ounds got starved, th' 'osses got cold, and I got the 
rheumatis, but, howsomever, we could make nothin' of him; but I " 

" Then you would see the geological formation of the whole thing," 
interposed the Professor. " The carboniferous series is extraordinarily 
developed. Indeed I know of nothing to compare with it, except the 
Bristol coal-field, on the banks of the Avon. There the dolomitio 
conglomerate, a rock of an age intermediate between the carboniferous 
series and the lias, rests on the truncated edges of the coal and 
mountain limestone, and contains rolled and angular fragments of 
the latter, in which are seen the characteristic mountain limestone 
fossils. The geological formation " 

" Oh, I doesn't know nothin' about the geo-nothin' formation o' 
the thing," interposed Mr. Jorrocks hastily, "nor does I care; I 
minds the top was soft enough, as most tops are, but it got con- 
founded 'ard lower down, and we broke a pick- axe, a shovel, and two 
spades afore we were done, for though in a general way I'm as 
indifferent 'bout blood as any one, seem' that a fox well fund w'e me 
is a fox as good as killed, and there is not never no fear o' my 'ounds 
bein' out o' blood, for though I says it, who p'raps shouldn't, there's 
no better 'untsman than I am, but some'ow this begger had riled me 
uncommon, 'avin' most pertinaciously refused to brik at the end o' 
the cover I wanted, and then took me a dance hup the werry steepest 
part o' Higham Hill, 'stead o' sailing plisantly away over Somerby 
water meadows, and so on to the plantations at Squerries " 

" That's the very place I've been cudgelling my brains the whole 
of this blessed day to remember," exclaimed the Professor, flourishing 
his napkin. " That's the very place I've been cudgelling my brains 
the whole of this blessed day to remember. A mile and a half to the 
east of Squerries — no, south-east of Squerries, is a spring of carbonic 
acid gas, an elastic fluid that has the property of decomposing many 
of the hardest rocks with which it comes in contact, particularly tbat 
numerous class in »*ose composition felspar is an ingredient ; it 

B B 



m HANDLEY CROSS; 

renders the oxide of iron soluble in water, and contributes to tha 
solution of calcareous matter ; I " 

" You don't say so ! " interrupted Mr. Jorrocks, " I wish I'd 'ad a 
bucket on it wi' me, for I really believe I should ha' got the fox, for 
though I holds with Beckford, that 'ounds 'ave no great happetita 
for foxes longer nor they're hangry with 'em, yet in a houk, as we 
expects each dig to be the last, one forgets while one's own hanger's 
iisin' that theirs is coolin', and though we worked as if we were borin' 
for a spring " 

" That's very strange 1 " now interrupted Mr. Marmaduke, who 
had been listening attentively all the time, anxious to get a word in 
sideways. " That's very strange ! Old Tommy Roadnight came to 
me one morning for a summons against "Willy Udal for that very 
thing. He would have it that Willy had bored the rock to draw the 
water from his well. Now I as a justice of the peace of our sovereign 
lady the Queen — perhaps you are not in the Commission of the Peace, 
are you, Mr. Jorrocks ? " inquired Mr. Muley grubs again. 

" Noi /," replied Mr. Jorrocks, carelessly. 

" Well, never mind, perhaps you may get in some day or other," 
observed the consoling justice ; "but as I was saying, I as a county 
magistrate, with the immense responsibility of the due administration 
of the laws, tempered always with mercy, without which legislation is 
intolerant and jurisprudence futile, — I, I say, did not feel justified in 
issuing my summons under my hand and seal for the attendance of 
the said William Udal, at the suit of the said Thomas Roadnight, 
without some better evidence than the conjecture of the said William, 
besides, perhaps, you are not aware that the Trespass Act, as it is 
termed, should rather be called the Wilful Damage Act, for the J.P. 
has to adjudicate more on the damage actually sustained by the 
trespass, than on the trespass itself, indeed without damage there 
would seem to be no trespass, therefore I felt unless the said Thomas 
Roadnight could prove that the said William Udal really and truly 
drew off the said water " 

" Caw-found your water ! " interrupted Mr. Jorrocks ; " give us the 
wi?ie> and let's have a toast : wot say you to fox-'unting ? " 

" With all my heart," replied Mr. Muleygrubs, looking very in- 
dignant, at the same time helping himself and passing the decanters. 
" Upon my word," resumed he, " the man who administers justice 
fairly and impartially has no easy time of it, and were it not for the 
great regard I have for the Lord-Lieutenant and my unbounded 
loyalty to the Queen, I think I should cease acting altogether." 

" Do," exclaimed Mr. Jorrocks eagerly, " and take to 'unting 
instead, — make you an honorary member of my 'unt, — far finer sport 
than sittin' in a 'ot shop with your 'at on ; 

44 ' Better to rove in fields for 'ealth unbought, 
Than fee the doctor for a nauseous draught.' ** 



OR, MR. JORROGKS'S HUNT. 32* 

Mr. Muleygrubs did not deign a reply. 

The wine circulated languidly, and Mr. Jorrocks in vain tried to 
get up a conversation on hunting. The Professor always started his 
stones, or Mr. Muleygrubs his law, varied by an occasional snore from 
Mr. Slowan, who had to be nudged by Jones every time the bottle 
went round. Thus they battled on for about an hour. 

" Would you like any more wine ? " at length inquired Mr. Muley 
grubs, with a motion of rising. 

" Not any more I'm obleged to you," replied the obsequious Mr. 
Jacob Jones, who was angling for the chaplaincy of Mr. Marmaduke'a 
approaching shrievalty. 

" Just anotlier bottle ! " rejoined Mr. Jorrocks, encouragingly. 

" Take a glass of claret," replied Mr. Muleygrubs, handing the jug 
to our Master. 

" Rayther not, thank ye," replied Mr. Jorrocks, " not the stuff for 
me. — By the way now, I should think," continued Mr. Jorrocks, 
with an air of sudden enlightenment, " that some of those old ancient 
hancestors o' yours have been fond o' claret." 

" Why so ? " replied Mr. Muleygrubs, pertly. 

" Doesn't know," replied Mr. Jorrocks, musingly, " but I never 
hears your name mentioned without thinking o' small claret. Bui 
come, let's have another bottle o' black strap — Ws good strap — sound 
and strong — got wot I calls a good grip o' the gob.' ' 

" Well," said Mr. Muleygrubs, getting up and ringing the bell, " if 
you must, you must, but I should think you have had enough." 

" Port Wine ! " exclaimed he, with the air of a man with a dozei 
set out, to his figure footman as he answered the bell. 

" Yes, sir," said the boy, retiring for the same. 

" Letter from the Secretary of State for the Home Department," 
exclaimed Stiffneck, re-entering and presenting Mr. Muleygrubs with 
a long official letter on a large silver tray. 

" Confound the Secretary of State for the Home Department ! " 
muttered Mr. Muleygrubs, pretending to break a seal as he hurried 
out of the room. 

"That's a rouse!" (ruse), exclaimed Mr. Jorrocks, patting his 
forefinger to his nose, and winking at Mr. De Green — "gone to the 
cellar." 

"Queer fellow, Muleygrubs," observed Mr. De Green. 

" What a dinner it was I " exclaimed Mr. Slowan. 

" 'Ungry as when I sat down," remarked Mr. Jorrocks. 

"All flash," rejoined Professor Girdlestone. 

" I pity his wife," observed Jacob Jones, " they say he licks he* 
like fun." 

" Little savage," rejoined Mr. Jorrocks, " should like to make a 
drag of him for my 'ounds." 

The footboy at length appeared bringing the replenished decanter 
Ur. Muleygrubs returned just as the lad left the room. 



826 HAND LEY CB088; 

Having resumed his seat, Mr. Jorrocks rose and with great 
gravity addressed him as follows : — " Sir, in your absence we have 
'ad the plissur o' drinkin' your werry good 'ealth, coupled with the 
expression of an 'ope that' the illustrious 'ouse of Mn ley grubs may 
long flourish in these your ancestral and baronial 'alls," a sentiment 
so neat and so far from the truth, as to draw down the mirth-conceal- 
ing applause of the party. 

" Mr. Jorrocks and gentlemen," said Mr. Muleygrubs, rising after 
a proper lapse of time, and holding a brimmer of wine in his hand, 
" Mr. Jorrocks and gentlemen," repeated he, " if any thing can com- 
pensate a public man for the faithful performance of an arduous and 
difficult office — increased by the prolixity of the laws and the 
redundancy of the statute-book, it is 7 * the applause of upright and 
intelligent men like yourselves (Hear, hear). He who would 
administer the laws faithfully and impartially, needs the hinward 
harmour of an approving conscience, with the houtward support of 
public happrobation (Hear, hear). I firmly believe the liberal portion 
of the unpaid magistracy of England are deserving of every encomium 
the world can bestow. Zealous in their duties, patient in their 
inquiries, impartial in their judgments, and inflexible in their 
decisions, they form a bulwark round the throne, more national 
and more noble than the coronetted spawn of a mushroom 
haristocracy." 

Mr. M. waited for applause, which, however, did not come. He 
then proceeded :— 

" I feel convinced there is not a man in the commission who 
would not prefer the tranquility of private life to the lofty heminence 
of magisterial dignities, but there is a feeling deeply implanted in 
the breasts of English gentlemen which forbids the consideration of 
private ease when a nation's wants have been expressed through the 
medium of a beloved Sovereign's wishes, — England expects that every 
man will do his duty 1 " continued Mr. Muleygrubs, raising his voice 
and throwing out his right arm. 

" Bravo, Grubs ! " exclaimed Mr. Jorrocks ; " you speak like 
Cicero ! " an encomium that drew forth the ill-suppressed mirth of 
the party, and cut the orator short in his discourse. 

" Gentlemen," said Mr. Muleygrubs, looking very indignantly at 
Mr. Jorrocks, ■ 'I thank you for the honour you have done me in 
drinking my health, and beg to drink all yours in return." 

" And 'ow's the Secretary o' State for the 'Ome Department ? " 
inquired Mr. Jorrocks, with a malicious grin, after Mr. Muleygrubs 
had subsided into his seat. 

" Oh, it was merely a business letter — official ! A Fitzroyer in fact." 

" Ah ! " said Mr. Jorrocks, " that's the gent to whom we're so 
much indebted for reformin' our street cabs. A real piece o' useful 
legislation that, for the most hexperienced man in London could 
never tell what a oab would C3rt« M Mr. Jorrocks then ©roceeded to 



OR, MR. JORROCKS'S HUNT. S8T 

compare the different expense of town transit, and, with the subject 
apparently well in hand, was suddenly done out of it by the stone- 
professor on his mentioning the subject of water-carriage. 

" If geologists are right in their conjecture," cut in the Professor, 
" that this country has been drained by large rivers, which were in- 
habited by gigantic oviparous reptiles, both bivorous and carnivorous, 
and small insectivorous mammifera, one may naturally conclude that 
out-of-doors gentlemen like you will often meet with rare specimens 
of animal antiquity." 

" iVo, ive don't" retorted our Master snappishly. " When a man's 
cuttin' across country for 'ard life, he's got summit else to do than 
look out for mammas. That's 'ovv chaps brick their necks," 
added he. 

" True" jerked in Mr. Muleygrubs. " Then comes the coroner's 
inquest, the jury, the finding, and the deodand," observed the host. 
" I regard the office of coroner as one of the bulwarks of the con- 
stitution. It was formerly held in great esteem, and none could hold 
it under the degree of knight, third of Edward the First, chapter ten, 
I think ; and by the fourteenth of Edward the Third, if I recollect 
right, chapter eight, no coroner could be chosen unless he had land 
in fee sufficient in the same county, whereof he might answer to all 
manner of people. My ancestor, Sir Jonathan Muleygrubs, whose 
portrait you see up there," pointing to a bluff Harry-the-Eighth- 
looking gentleman in a buff jerkin, with a red-lined basket-handled 
sword at his side, " held it for many years. He was the founder of 
our family, and " 

"Then, let's drink his 'ealth," interposed Mr. Jorrocks, finding 
the wine did not circulate half as fast as he could wish. " A werry 
capital cock, and every way worthy of his line ; " saying which he 
seized the decanter, and filled himself a bumper. " I wish he'd been 
alive, I'd have made him a member of our 'unt. And who's that old 
screw with the beard ?" inquired Mr. Jorrocks, pointing to the portrait 
next Sir Jonathan, a Roman senator-looking gentlemen, wrapped in 
a loose pink and white robe. 

" That," said Mr. Muleygrubs, " is my great -grandfather, an 
alderman of London and a member of Parliament for Tewkesbury." 

" I thought you said it was Shakespeare," observed Mr. Jones, 
somewhat dryly. 

"Well," said Mr. Jorrocks, knowingly, "that's no reason why it 
should not be his great-grandfather too ; I should say our 'ost's werry 
like Shakespeare, partiklar about the 'ead — and, if I recollects right, 
Shakespeare said summut about justices o' the peace too." 

"Tea and coffee wait your pleasure in the drawing-room," observed 
the stiff-necked footman, opening the door and entering the apart- 
ment in great state. 

" Cuss your tea and coffee I " muttered Mr. Jorrocks, buzzing the 
bottle. " Haven't had half a drink ; Here's good sport for to« 



3v8 



HAND LEY CROSS 



morrow," said he, sipping his wine. "You 'unt with us, in course,' 1 
observed he to the professor. 

"Oh, indeed, no," said Professor Girdlestone, " that is quite out of 
my line ; I am engaged to meet Mr. Lovel Lightfoot, the eminent 
geologist, to examine the tertiary strata of " 

" Well, then," interrupted Mr. Jorrocks, " all I've got to say is, if 
you meet the fox, don't 'cad him .- " saying which he drained his 
glass, threw down his napkin, and strutted out of the room, muttering 
something about justices, jackasses, and fossil fools. 

Tea and coffee were enlivened by a collision between the footboys. 
Stiffneck with the tea-tray made a sudden wheel upon No. 2 with the 
coffee-tray, and about an equal number of cups and saucers were 
smashed. The crash was great, but Muleygrubs's wrath was greater. 
" Stupidest beggars that ever were seen — deserve a month a-piece on 
the treadmill ! " 

"Weary of state without the machinery of state," Mr. Jorrocks 
gladly took his chamber- candle to retire to his twopenny head and 
farthing tail. 



CHAPTER XXXVI. 

MOTHER CATASTROPHE. — THE GREAT MR. PRETTYFAT. 

NO reproving nightmare censured 
Mr. Jorrocks for over - night 
indulgence, and he awoke with- 
out the symptoms of a headache. 
His top-boots had got the mud 
washed off, and his red coat and 
drab shags stood invitingly at 
the bed-foot. He was soon in 
them and downstairs. The 
active magistrate w T as before 
him, however, and they met in 
the baronial hall. 

Mr. Muleygrubs' costume 
was very striking. A little 
brown coat with filagree 
buttons, red waistcoat, white 
mole - skins, and Wellington 
boots with wash-leather knee- 
caps. His Britannia - metal- 
looking spurs, with patent leather straps were buckled inside. A 
large breast-pin representing Justice with her scales, secured the ends 
of a red-striped white neckcloth. 




THE WINE CIRCULATED LANGUIDLY, 



OB, MB. JOB BOCKS' 8 HUNT. 32* 

" Good morning, Mr. Jorrocks ! " exclaimed our J. P., with ex- 
tended hand ; " I fear you've not slept well, you are down so early ; 
hope the bed was comfortable, best in the house, barring " 

" 0, quite comfey, thank ye," replied Mr. Jorrocks ; " only I have 
had as much of it as I want, and thought I've had a turn round your 
place afore breakfast. It seems a werry fine mornin'." 

" Beautiful morning," replied Mr. Marmaduke. 

" ' There is a freshness in the mornin' hair, 

And life, what bloated ease can never 'ope to share ; ' " 

replied Mr. Jorrocks. " Let's have a look at your stud." 

They then got their hats. First they went to the stable, then to 
the cow-bier, next to the pig-sty, and looked into the hen-house. 

" You haven't a peacock, have ye ? " inquired Mr. Jorrocks. 

" No," replied Mr. Muleygrubs. 

" Wonders at that — finest birds possible ; my Junks is as wise aft 
most Christians. A peacock on each of those towers would look 
noble," observed Mr. Jorrocks, turning to the castle as they sauntered 
along the garden. 

Two or three men in blue trousers were digging away ; but a 
garden in winter being an uninteresting object, Mr. Muleygrubs 
merely passed through it (by the longest way, of course), and striking 
into a gravel walk by the side of a sluggish stream, made a detour, 
and got upon the carriage road. Here they suddenly came upon two 
mechanic-looking men in white aprons and paper caps. 

" Halloa, there, you sirs ! where are you going ? " exclaimed Mr. 
Muleygrubs. 

"Poor men out of work, sir," replied the foremost, touching his 
cap. " Weavers, your honour — been out of work all the winter." 

" Poor fellows ! " said Mr. Muleygrubs, soothingly. 

" True, I assure you, your honour," rejoined the other. " My com- 
rade's wife's just lying-in of her tenth child, and I've a wife and six 
bairns all lying ill of the fever." 

" Poor fellows ! " repeated Muleygrubs again. " You don't look 
like common beggars — S. Vs., sturdy vagrants — I. R., incorrigible 
rogues." 

" Necessity's driv us to it, yer honour — never begged afore." 

" You'd work if you could get it, I dare say," continued the J. P., 
in the same consoling strain. 

" Oh, that we would, yer honour 1 " exclaimed both. Mr. Muley- 
grubs smiled, for he had them. 

" Come along, then," said he, leading the way to a heap of stones 
by the side of the carriage-road. " Now," he said, slowly and 
solemnly, " mark what I say. I am a justice of the peace of our 
sovereign lady the Queen, charged with the preservation of the peace 
and the execution of the laws of this great kingdom — hem ! " (The 
men looked blank.) " There is a hact called the Vagrant Hact," 



890 BAN DIET CROSS; 

continued Mr. Muleygrubs, " which declares that all persons who 
being able to work and thereby maintain themselves and their families, 
shall wilfully refuse or neglect so to do, shall be deemed rogues and 
vagabonds, within the true intent and meaning of the hact, and may 
be committed to hard labour in the house of correction — hem ! — Now, 
gentlemen," said he, " there are two heaps of stones, hard and soft, you 
are both out of work — there are two hammers, and when you have 
broken those stones, my bailiff will measure them off and pay you for 
them, and thus you will get employment, and save a trip to the mill. 
Take the hammers and set to work." 



"Down upon them, I think," chuckled Mr. Muleygrubs to Mr. 
Jorrocks, as they returned to the house. " That's one of the few 
pulls we magistrates have — I keep my avenue in repair and my walks 
weeded by the vagrants." 

" But not for noting ? " observed Mr. Jorrocks, inquiringly. 

" Oh, yes — they never work long — generally sneak off at the end 
of an hour or two, forfeiting what they've done. All these heaps," 
pointing to sundry heaps of stones among the trees, "have been 
broken by beggars. Shall be able to sell some to the surveyors 
this year. Working beggars, and employing the new police 
about one's place occasionally are really the only pulls we justices 
have." 

" Dress the poliss up as flunkeys, I s'pose," observed Mr. Jorrocks. 

" Just so," replied Mr. Muleygrubs, " or work them in the garden. 
It's by far the best way of disposing of the force," continued Mr. 
Muleygrubs ; "for you see, in a thinly populated district, where each 
man has a considerable range, you never know where to lay hands on 
a policeman, whereas, about here, they know they have only to send 
to his worship's to get one directly." 

" No doubt it is," replied Mr. Jorrocks, adding, aloud to himself, 
as the bearings of the case crossed his mind, " and the best thing for 
t he thief too. Wonders now if the beggar would let one make earth- 
stoppers on them — stop the thief o' the world." 

In the present instance the police were not of much avail, for the 
weavers, having seen the justice into his castle, pocketed the hammer- 
heads and cut their sticks. 

Among the group who stood in the baronial hall waiting Mr. 
Muleygrubs' return was Mr. Macpherson, the wily churchwarden of 
the neighbouring parish. " Taken the liberty of calling upon you to 
request your countenance to a subscription for repairing our organ," 
said he. 

" Confound your subscriptions ! " interrupted the justice— 
"my hand's never out of my pocket. Why do you all come to 
me?" 

" We always go to the people of the first consequence first," re- 



OR, MR. JORROCKS'S HUNT. 331 

plied the churchwarden, in a tone more directed to Mr. Jorrocks than 
to Mr. Muleygrubs. 

" Very kind of you," replied he, satirically — " kind and considerate 
both." * 

" The example of gentlemen in high stations has great influence," 
replied Mr. Macpherson. 

" Then why not go to Sir Harry Martin ? " 

" Because you are the largest landowner in the parish," replied the 
Scotchman, in the same " talk-at-him " tone as before. 

This was a clencher — proclaimed in his own baronial hall, in the 
presence of Mr. Jorrocks, as the greatest man and largest landowner 
in the parish, was something. 

" "Well," said he, with a relaxing brow, " put me down for a couple 
of guineas." 

"Thank you kindly," replied Mr. Macpherson, taking a horn 
inkstand out of his pocket, and writing the name Marmaduke 
Muleygrubs, Esq., J. P., 21. 2s. , at the head of the first coloumn. 

" You'd like it put in the papers, I suppose ? " observed Mr. 
Macpherson. 

" Papers ! to be sure ! " replied Mr. Muleygrubs, ruffled at the 
question ; " what's the use of my giving if it isn't put in the 
papers ? " 

A Jew picture-dealer next claimed the justice's ear. He had a kit- 
cat of a grim-visaged warrior, with a lace-collar, and his hand resting 
on a basket-handled sword. 

" Got a match for your dining-room por " 

" I'll speak to you after ! " exclaimed Mr. Muleygrubs, hastily 
pushing the purveyor of ancestors aside, and drawing Mr. Jorrocks 
onward to the breakfast-room. 

There was a great spread in the way of breakfast, at least a great 
length of table down the room. A regiment of tea-cups occupied one 
end of the table, coffee-cups the other, and the cold game-pie was in 
the middle. Four loaves, two of white, and two of brown bread, 
guarded the corners, and there were two butter-boats and four plates 
of jelly and preserve. 

" Come, there's plenty to eat, at all ewents," observed Mr. Jorrocks 
aloud to himself, as he advanced to greet Mrs. Muleygrubs, and give 
the little Muleygrubs the morning chuck under the chin. " S'pose 
you've a party comin' this mornin'," continued he, looking at the 
cups, and then pulling out his watch ; " five minutes to ten by 
'Andley Cross," said he : " 'ounds will be here in twenty minutes — 
Pigg's werry punctual." 

Mrs. Muleygrubs said, " That being a county family, they wished 
to make themselves popular, and would give a public breakfast to the 
Hunt." 

Mr. Jorrocks said, " Nothin' could be more proper." 

***** * 



332 HANDLET CROSS; 

Five minutes elapsed, and he looked again at his watch,* 
observing, " that the 'ounds would be there in a quarter of an hour." 

" Hadn't we better be doin', think ye ? " asked Mr. Jorrocks, 
impatiently, as Mr. Muleygrubs entered the room after his deal for 
the ancestor ; " 'ounds '11 be here in no time." 

"I suppose there's no great hurry," observed Mr. Muleygrubs, 
carelessly. 

" 'Deed but there is," replied Mr. Jorrocks ; " punctuality is the 
purliteness o' princes, and I doesn't like keepin' people T7aitin\" 

"Well, then," said Mr. Muleygrubs, "we'll ring for che urn." 
****** 

In it came, hissing, for the footmen wanted to be off to the Hunt. 

Dry-toast, buttered-toast, muffins, twists, rolls, &c., were scattered 
down the table, and two stands of eggs flanked the cold game-pie in 
the centre. 

There is no greater nuisance than making a feast and no one 
coming to eat it, — even Gog and old Magog complained when 
William the Fourth disappointed the guzzlers in Guildhall : — 

" Said Gog to old Magog, ' Why, fury and thunder ! 
There surely is some unaccountable blunder,' " &c. 

In vain Mr. Marmaduke played with his breakfast, and pretended 
to enjoy everything. His eye kept wandering to the window in 
hopes of seeing some one, even the most unwelcome of his friends, 
cast up. Still no one arrived, and the stiff-necked boy sat in the 
baronial hall without being summoned to open the doors. A group 
of children first ventered to enter the forbidden field in front of the 
Justice's, emboldened by a mole-catcher, who was combining business 
with pleasure. A boy on a pony next arrived, and was the object of 
attention until two grooms appeared, and began to fuss about the 
stirrups, and rub their horses down with handkerchiefs. Presently 
more arrived ; then came more ponies, then a few farmers, and at 
last a red-coat, to the delight of the youngsters, who eyed the wearer 
with the greatest reverence. Meanwhile Mr. Jorrocks worked away at 
his breakfast, first at the solids, then at the sweets, diversified with a 
draught at the fluids. 

Four red-coated gentry came cantering into the field, smoking and 
chattering like magpies. Out rushed the figure footman to enlist 
them for the breakfast, but the hard-hearted mortals ask for cherry- 
brandy outside. Mr. Jorrocks looked at his watch, and the children 
raise a cry of " Here they come ! " as James Pigg and Benjamin 
were seen rounding a belt of trees, with the hounds clustered at 

* Reader, if you are a non-fox-hunting housekeeper, and ever entertain fox- 
hunters, never let them wait for their breakfasts. The most sumptuous repast 
will not compensate for the loss of ten minutes, or even five, at this time of 
day. 



OB, MB. JORBOCKS'S HUNT. 



333 



Pigg's horses heels, while a Handley Cross helper on Mr. Jorrocks's 
horse assisted to whip in. As they come towards the front, up goes 
the window, and Mrs. Muleygrubs and the children rush to the view. 
Pleased with the sight, Mr. Muleygrubs desired the footboy to give 
the men a glass of claret a-piece. 







A DRAUGHT AT THE FLUIDS. 



" Thank ye, uo ! " exclaimed Mr. Jorrocks ; " I'll give tnem a 
Seidlitz poo&er a-piece when they gets 'ome." 

" Do you love your huntsman, Mr. Jonnocks ? " asked Magdalene 
Margery, who was now a candidate for the great man's favour. 

"I loves everybody, inore or less, my little dear," replied our 
Master, patting her plaistered head. 

" Well, but would you kith him ? " demanded Victoria Jemima. 



334 EANDLEY CROSS; 

" Would you pay for his shoes ? " asked Albert Erasmus, who 
gported a new pair himself. 

" He wears bouts, my dear," replied our ready friend. 

" Do you hunt well, Mr. Jonnocks ? — Are you a good hunter ? " 
asked Master Memnon. 

" Capital, my dear ! — Best in England ! " replied our Master. 

" Why don't you shoot the fox, Mr. Jonnocks ? " now demanded 
Darius, astonished at the size and number of the pack. " P-a-a-r 
shoots the fox," added he, in a loud tone of confident superiority. 

" Nonsense, Darius ! nothirC of the sort ! " exclaimed the guilty 
Muleygrubs. 

" You d-o-o-o" drawled Darius, eyeing his parent with a reproving 
scowl. 

" Hush ! you foolish boy ! " stamped Marmaduke, looking as if he 
would eat him. 

" Be bund to say he does," grunted Mr. Jorrocks, aloud to himself, 
with a knowing jerk of his head. 

" Bless us ! what a many dogs you have ! " exclaimed Mr. Mnley- 
grubs, anxious to turn the conversation. 

" 'Ounds ! if you please," replied our Master. 

" Well, hounds ! " aspirated Mr. Muleygrubs, as if correcting Mr. 
Jorrocks's pronunciation : " Is it possible you know all their 
names ? " 

" Quite possible," replied Mr. Jorrocks, making for the window 
that had just been opened. 

Giving one of his well-known shrill gallery whistles, the pack 
caught sight of their master, and breaking away, dash through the 
windows, demolishing the glass, upsetting the children, and seizing 
all the dainties left on the breakfast-table of Cockolorum Castle. 

Mr. Muleygrubs was knocked under the table, Mrs. Muleygrubs 
and all the little Muleygrubs hurried out, and the stiff-necked foot- 
boy had a chase after Priestess, who ran off with the cold rein-deer 
tongue. Three or four hounds worried the pie, and Ravager — 
steady old Ravager — charged through the coffee-cups to get at the 
rolls. Altogether, there was a terrible crash. 

Mr. Jorrocks bolted out of the window, and, by dint of whooping 
and holloaing aided by the foot-boy's endeavours, succeeded in 
drawing off the delinquents, and sending Ben in for his cap, desired 
him to apologise for not returning to bid his hostess adieu, on the 
plea that the hounds would be sure to follow him. 

The commotion was not confined to the house, and Ethelred the 
gardener's nerves were so shook, that he forgot where to enlarge the 
bag fox, which he did so clumsily, that the animal, as if in revenge, 
made straight for his garden, followed by Jorrocks, and the whole 
train-band bold, who made desperate havoc among the broccoli and 
winter cabbages. The poor, confused, half-smothered brute took 
refuge up the flue, from whence being at length ejected, our 



OR, ME. JORROCKS'S HUNT. 336 

" indifferent man about blood " celebrated his obsequies with " ten 
miies straight on end " honours. He then made a show of drawing 
again but as " P-a-a-r shoots the fox," we need not state the result. 

Mr. Jorrocks's introduction to the " old customer " originated in 
a very bumptious, wide-margined letter from the great Mr. Pretty fat, 
deputy surveyor of the wretched forest of Pinch-me-near. Luckily it 
was a royal forest, for it would have ruined any one else. It had 
long been " administered " by Mr. Prettyfat, formerly butler to the 
great Lord Foliage, when that nobleman was at the head of the 
Woods and Forests ; and twenty years had not diminished the stock 
of ignorance with which Prettyfat entered upon the duties of his 
office. He had, however, forgotten all about " napkins," and was 
now a most important stately stomached personage, with royal 
buttons on a bright blue coat. It was always " her Majesty and I," 
or, "I will consult with her Majesty's Ministers," or "my Lords 
Commissioners of her Majesty's Treasury and I think there should 
be a new hinge to the low gate," or, " the Secretary of the Treasury 
and I differ about cutting down the shaken oaks on the North-east 
Dean, as I think they will recover." Indeed, he would sometimes 
darkly hint that her Majesty was likely to pay him a visit to inspect 
his Cochin China and Dorking fowls, for which he was justly 
famous. 

Now the foxes, which their usual want of manners, had presumed 
upon the Eoyal forest poultry, and though Prettyfat had succeeded in 
trapping a good many of them, there was one audacious old varmint 
that seemed proof, as well against steel, as against the more deadly 
contents of his blunderbuss barrels. Prettyfat could neither catch 
him nor hit him. The oftener he blazed at him, the more impudent 
the fox seemed to become, and the greater pleasure he seemed to take 
in destruction, generally killing half-a-dozen more fowls than he 
carried away. Prettyfat then tried poison, but only succeeded in 
killing his own cat. At length he was fairly at his wit's end. In 
this dilemma, it occurred to him that Jorrocks was the proper person 
to apply to, and hearing that he was a grocer in the city, who took a 
subscription to his hounds in the country, he concluded Jorrocks was 
a better sort of rat-catcher, who they might employ by the day, 
month, or year, so with the usual contempt of low people for those 
who make money, he concocted the following foolscapped sheet of 
impertinence, which he directed " On her Majesty's Service," and 
sealed, with royal butter-pat sized arms : — 

'" Pinch-me-near Forest Housb. 
" Sir, 

"/ am directed by the Eight Honourable the Commissioner in 
charge of her Majesty's Woods and Forests to desire that you will inform 
me, for the information of the Right Honourable the Lords Commis- 
sioners of her Majesty '« Treasury, what will you undertake to extermiua'n 



336 BAtfDLEY CROSS; 

the foxes in the Royal Forest of Pinch-me-near for f Their ravages 
have been very detrimental to the growth of naval timber ; for which 
purpose alone these royal properties are retained. 

" You ivill, therefore, please to inform me, — 

" 1st. What you will undertake to keep the foxes down for by the 
year ; 

" 2ndly. What you ivill undertake to catch them at per head. 

So that the Right Honourable the Commissioner in charge of her 
Majesty' 1 s Woods and Forests may be enabled to give the Right Honour- 
able the Lords Commissioners of her Majesty's Treasury their choice as 
to the mode of proceeding. 

" I am, Sir, 
u Tour most obedient Servant, 

" John Prettyfat, 

" To Mr. Joerocks, " Deputy Surveyor. 

" Handley Cross Spa." 

To which Mr. Jorrocks, after a little inquiry, replied as follows :— ■ 

••Diana Lodge, Handley Cross. 
"Dear Prettyfat, 

" Yours to hand, and note the contents. I shall be most 'appy to 
do my possible in the way of punishin' the foxes without any bother 
with your peerage swells, who ivould only waste the season, and a great 
deal of good letter paper in needless correspondence. Life's too short to 
enter into a correspondence with a great official ; but as they tells me it 
is a most frightful beggarly sort o' country, to which none of the water- 
drinkers here would go, I must just dust the foxes' jackets with a short 
pack on bye days, which ivill enable me to begin as soon as ever you like 
in a mornin', which arter all is said and done, is the real time for makin' 
them cry ' Capevi! ' I does it all for the love o' the thing, but if there 
are any earths, I shall be obliged by your stoppin' them. Don't stop 
'em in, mind, or I'll have to inform the Right Honourable the Commis- 
sioner in charge of her Majesty's Woods and Forests, for the information 
of the Right Honourable the Lords Commissioners of her Majesty's 
Treasury. So no more at present from 

" Yours to serve, 

„m -r rr "John Jorrocks. 

"To John Prettyfat, Esq., 

11 Deputy Surveyor, 

• 4 Pinch-me-near Forest House." 

And there we will leave Mr. Prettyfat for the present, in order to 
introduce another gentleman. 



OB, MB. JOBBOCKS'S HUNT. 387 

CHAPTEE XXXVII. 

M.F.H. BUGGINSON. 

Now Mr. Jorrocks's bagman, Bugginson, or " representative," as 
he calls himself, had, since his master's elevation to the fox-hunting 
throne, affected the sportsman a good deal, dressing in cut-away coats, 
corduroy trousers, and sometimes even going so far as gosling-green 
cords and very dark tops, and talking about our 'ounds, our country, and 
so on ; and this great swell strayed incautiously, at half-cock (for it 
was after luncheon), into Mr. Chaffer's repository at Muddlesworth, 
in company with a couple of local swells, when, as bad luck would 
have it, the worthy auctioneer was dispersing the "splendid hunting 
establishment " of Sir Guy Spanker, under a writ of execution from 
the Sheriff of Fleetstrre. He had got through the valuable collection 
of screws, and was just putting up the first lot of hounds, ten couple 
of dogs, in the usual flourishing style of the brotherhood, beginning 
at an outrageous price, and gradually getting down-stairs to a 
moderate one, when booted Bugginson and Co. entered. 

" What will any gen'leman give for this supurb lot of hounds ? " 
demanded Ghaffey, throwing his voice towards Bugginson, " what will 
any gen'leman give for this supurb lot of hounds, unmatched and un- 
matchable ? " 

"Doubt that," winked Bugginson to Jim Breeze, one of his 
chums, intimating that he thought " theirs " were better. 

" "What will any gen'leman give ! " repeated the auctioneer, 
flourishing his little hammer, "five 'underd guineas — will any 
gen'leman give five 'underd guineas for them ? " asked he hastily, as 
if expecting them to be snapped up in a moment. 

" Four 'underd guineas ! 

" Three 'underd guineas ! 

" Two 'underd guineas ! 

" One 'underd guineas ! 

" Will any genMeman give a 'underd guineas for this splendid lot 
of dog-hounds — the fleetest, the stoutest, the gamest hounds in Eng- 
land ! iVb gen'leman give one 'underd guineas for them ! " ex' 
claimed he, in a tone of reproach. Then apparently recovering his 
mortification, he proceeded, 

" Fifty guineas ! 

* Forty guineas ! 

" Thirty ! 

" Ten ! Will any gen'leman give ten guineas ? " inquired he. 

" Shillings I " exclaimed Bugginson, knowingly, knocking off the 
end of his cigar. 

" Thank'e, sir ! " exclaimed the auctioneer, glad of an otter. 



S38 HANDLBT CM0S8; 

Bugginson felt foolish. He wished he " hadn't ; " still he thought 
there was no chance of their going for that. Chaffey hurried on. 

" Ten shillings is only bid ! — any advance on ten shillin's ? — going 
for ten shillin's — any body give more than ten shillin's ! can't dwell I 
must be sold — only ten shillin's bid — third and last time for ten 
shillin's, goin', (tap) gone" 

" Going, (tap) gone ! " Ominous words ! What a thrill they 
send through one's frame. "Going, (tap) gone." Oh, dear, who 
shall describe the feelings of poor swaggering Bugginson thus let 
in for ten couple of hungry-looking hounds — four or five and twenty 
inch dogs ! — Bugginson, who had never had to do with a dog of any 
sort in his life, suddenly becoming the owner of a pack of hounds — 
an M.F.H. like his master. " M.F.H. Bugginson presents his com- 
pliments to M.F.H. Jorrocks," &c. 

" Deuced cheap," " dog cheap ! " exclaimed his now exalted com- 
panions. 

" Very," simpered Bugginson, wishing he was well out of them. 

" Where to, yer 'oner ? " now demanded a ragged Irishman, who 
had seized the great bunch of dogs from the man of the yard as they 
came from the rostrum. 

" Stop," muttered the man of the yard, " the gen'l'man 'ill be 
buyin' some more." 

" Will he" thought Bugginson, eyeing the unruly lot pulling 
away in all directions, adding to himself, " catch me at that game 
again." 

" Take them to the ' Salutation,' " said Bugginson pompously, 
•' and tell the ostler to put them into a stable." 

" Half a croon, yer 'oner ! " demanded the man. 

" Half a crown ! " retorted Bugginson, " why I only gave ten 
shillin's for the lot." 

" So much the better I Sure, then, yer 'oner can afford to pay me 
liberal and bountiful." 

" But half a crown's out of all reason," retorted Bugginson, 
angrily ; " why it's not fifty yards," shortening the distance one 
half. 

" Raison or no raison," replied Pat, " I'll not take them for less ; " 
and, Bugginson seeing, by the desperate rush some of the hound? 
made to get at a bunch of comrades now coming to the hammer, 
that he could do nothing with them himself, was obliged to submit 
to the extortionate demand. 

Though Bugginson was too knowing a hand to exhibit symptoms 
of mortification at the mess his swagger had got him into, he was 
not to be persuaded into bidding for any more ; and in vain Mr. 
Chaffey expatiated on the merits of the next lots, intimating his 
opinion that Bugginson ought at least to make up his twenty 
couple. 

Bugginson simpered, chucked up his chin, haw-haw'd, and 



OR, MR. JORROCKS'S HUNT. 



339 



thanked him, but was " only making up his number ; " and having 
remained sufficiently long to look as if he was quite unconcerned, he 
repaired to his hotel, to take another look at the animals, which he 
thought of turning loose upon the town during the night, w 7 hen an 
unfinished letter to his master — we beg pardon, his *• principal" — 
stating who he had seen, who he had " drawn," who he had been told 




MR. BUQGINSON S BID, 



was " respectable," and who the reverse, caused him to alter his 
plans, and to add a P.S., saying he hoped Mr. Jorrocks would allow 
him to offer him a Christmas-box, in the shape of ten couple of very 
fine fox-hounds, late the property of Sir Guy Spanker, Baronet, 
which he had had the good fortune to meet with, and which he 
would forward by the 9 "30 a.m. luggage train, with directions to be 
passed on to the Lily-white Sand Line, by the 11*20. 

" Con-found all presents wot eat ! " exclaimed Mr. Jorrocks, on 

cc 



340 HANDLE? CROSS; 

reading the announcement. " Ciw-found all presents wot eat I 
repeated he, with a hearty slap of his thigh. At first he was half 
inclined to work the wires, and bid Bugginson keep them himself 
On second thoughts, however, he recollected that rope was cheaj> 
enough, and as he was drawing some of his hounds rather fine (being 
desperately addicted to bye-days), with the Pinch-me-near proposal 
in hand, he thought they might be worth looking at, perhaps. 
Accordingly, he despatched Pigg to the station, who in due time 
arrived with what James called " a cannyish lot o' hunds, only they 
hadn't getten ne neames," names being a thing Bugginson never 
thought of asking for, or the Sheriff of Fleetshire of supplying. In 
truth, they looked better than they were ; for, like most first lots at a 
sale, they were anything but the pick of the pack. There were 
skirters, mute runners, and noisy ones, besides a few worn-out old 
devils, that could evidently do nothing but eat. These Jorrocks 
condemned without a hearing, and so reduced the lot to eight couple. 
Mr. Jorrocks told Pigg they were a draft from the Qaorn, with a 
good deal of the Trueman blood in them ; and though James did say 
he was " warned they'd be good ^or nout, or they wadn't ha' parted 
with them at that time of year," still the announcement had a very 
favourable effect in ingratiating them in Pigg's favour. Thus 
reinforced, Mr. Jorrocks ventured to broach the subject of another 
bye-day, against which Pigg had lately been protesting, vowing that 
Jorrocks would have both " husses and hunds worked off their legs 
afore he knew where he was." To our master's surprise, Pigg didn't 
make any objection to the forest. 

" Wy, wy, sir," replied James, scratching his head and turning his 
quid, " it winna be a bad place, ar dinna think." 

" Vot, you know it, do you ? " asked Mr. Jorrocks. 

" Why now, ar canna say as how ar ken this forest, but ar kens 
what a forest is weal enough, and this '11 be gay like arle others, ar's 
warned." 

" All bog and bother," suggested Mr. Jorrocks. 

" Arle bog and bother, no ! what should put that i' yer head ? " 

Mr. Jorrocks. — " They tell me this one is — " 

Pigg. — " It winna be like wors, then. When canny ard Lambton 
hunted our country, arve been i' Chopwell wiles, and the rides were 
jest like race-coourses." 

Mr. Jorrocks (in astonishment). — " You don't say so ! That'll 
be a well kept piace, then, with great trees growin' as they 
ought ? " 

Pigg. — " Deil a bit ! Deil a bit ! The rides was arle they 
minded. The man o' the woods gat the grass for his cows, and so he 
kept the rides verra canny. The woods was just like bad nursery 
grunds — nothin' but switches. They tell me," continued Pigg, 
" sin' ar come'd away, that they've had the 'Marican reapin' machine 
at work, mowin' them down." 



OR, MR. JORROCKS'S HUNT. 341 

" You don't say so ! " exclaimed Mr. Jorrocks, " wot an age of 
irapruvment this is ! " 

•' Aye," continued Pigg, turning his quid, " and now they're 
gannin' to growin' a crop o' pea-sticks on the same grund." 

" I wish they'd grow faggot sticks," observed Mr. Jorrocks, " for 
Batsey uses an uncommon lot lightin' the fires ; but 'owsomever, 
never mind, that's not the pint— the pint is, that we'll go to the 
forest, and take this new lot of 'ounds, and see wot they're made 
on." 

" "Wy, wy," replied Pigg, " wy, wy, ar's quite 'greeable." 

u Jest you and I," observed Jorrocks ; " it's no use takin' Ben." 

" Deil a bit ! " replied Pigg, with disdain, " deil a bit ! " 

"You on Young Hyson, me on Arterxerxes," continued Mr. 
Jorrocks. 

" Ye'd better ride t'other," replied Pigg ; " ye're niver off t'ard 
husses back." 

" Do the great rumblin'-stomached beggar good," replied Mr. 
Jorrocks, "goes jest as if he 'ad a barrel o' milk churnin' in his 
inside." 

" Wy, wy, sir," replied Pigg, " ye ken best ; only, ye see, if ye 
brick him down, ye see ye'll not git such another — not i' these parts, 
at least." 

" Oh, never fear," replied Mr. Jorrocks, carelessly, " there are as 
good fish in the sea as ever came out on it. No man need want a 
quad, long, wot 'ill pay for one," he continued, hustling the silver 
vigorously in his pantaloon pocket. 

" Wy, wy, sir," replied Pigg, " ye ken best, ye ken best. Then 
we'll fix it so, and ar'll tak these new hunds i' couples, and a few of 
our own to show them the way like." 

" Jest so," assented Mr Jorrocks. 

And so master and man parted. 



C2 



342 



HANDLE Y CROSS; 



CHAPTER XXXVIII. 



PINCH-3IE-NEAII FOREST. 



if Mr. Jorrocks's hunfc- 
insr appetite grew by what 
it fed upon, he passed a 
very restless, feverish 
night, dreaming of all 
sorts of hunting casual- 
ties, and greatly disturb- 
ing Mrs. Jorrocks's re- 
pose by his evolutions. 
At length, thinking he 
was throwing down a 
stone wall, to pick up his 
fox, he set his feet 
against her with such 
force as sent her flying 
out of bed, and so finished 
the performance. Mrs, 
J. went off to Belinda's 
room, and our master got 
up, though it was only 
five o'clock. Early as he 
was, however, Pigg, who 
had not gone to bed at 
all, was before him, and 
when Mr. Jorrocks got 
down-stairs, he found him at a sumptuous breakfast with Batsey in 
the back kitchen. Setting Pigg off to the stable, Mr. Jorrocks took 
his place at the table, and rated Batsey soundly for encouraging a 
man of Pigg's " unsteady 'abits." 

Batsey justified herself on the score of promoting her master's 
sport. " Pigg," she was " sure was nothin' to her." She didn't 
want to be Mrs. Piffg Not she, indeed ! She could do better than 
that any day, she Voed I " Piciq, forsooth ! " and she bounced about, 
and banged the butter upon the muffins and toasc, as if her feelings 
were outraged in the extreme. How the dispute might have ended is 
doubtful, for in the midst of it Batsey gave Mr. Jorrocks a kidney so 
hot off the fire, that he burnt his mouth, and as he danced about the 
kitchen floor, unable to retain it, yet unwilling to give it up, she took 
advantage of the opportunity and slipped quietly away, to have a cry 
in her own room. Our master then finished his breakfast with a blistered 
\aouth, as best he could, and then followed Pigg to the stable. 




MR. JORROCKS S EVOLUTIONS. 



OR, MR. J0RR0CK8'8 BUNT. 94$ 

It was so dark when Pigg gave Mr. Jorrocks his horse, that our 
master was obliged to feel along his back to his tail, to be sure that 
he hadn't got hold of Xerxes instead of Arterxerxes ; for though if 
our friend had been selling him, he would have sworn that Xerxes 
was far the best of the two — finest oss wot ever was seen, in fact — 
yet an inconvenient jerk he had with his hind-quarters in his jumps, 
more than counter-balanced any little additional speed he had over 
Arterxerxes. It took Mr. Jorrocks more time to get shuffled back 
into his saddle after a leap on Xerxes, than Arterxerxes would have 
lost by his steady laborious plodding, to say nothing of the incon- 
venience of riding on a horse's neck, instead of on his back. But to 
our story. Pigg, like a prudent man, had coupled the strange 
hounds with some of their own, or they would have been all over the 
town in no time. Master and man spurred briskly on, Jorrocks 
acting whipper-in, and Pigg yoicking and coaxing the hounds to 
him as best he could. They cleared the town, and got to the 
Whickenby Gate before the 'pike-man was up ; and violent was the 
clattering, and dread the denunciations that Jorrocks hurled at hia 
white cotton night-capped head, when at length he popped, it out to 
inquire the cause of the row. 

Our friends didn't get much use of the hard road for their money, 
for Pinch-me-near Forest being quite a back-slum sort of place, 
that nobody ever wanted to see, the roads all seemed to shun it, and it 
was only by very vague conjectures and speculative cuts that our 
friends managed to steer towards it at all. Not that the forest itself 
was worse than any of its Royal brethren ; indeed, it was better than 
some, for Pretty fat neither stole the wood himself, nor knowingly 
suffered others to steal it, his being the easy do-nothing style of 
management, that let the trees grow if they liked, or if they didn't 
like, let them stand still and die, or be blown down and rot at their 
leisure. He made his reports regularly and fairly, and so long as he 
got as much money as paid his own salary and the wages of his 
labourers, he felt he fulfilled all the duties of a faithful servant of the 
Crown, and did all that a grateful nation could require. 

A very rubicund sun at length began to struggle through the dull 
leaden clouds, gradually revealing hill and dale, fields, fences, and 
enclosures, the whole paraphernalia of a landscape, just like a child's 
puzzle-map getting put together. 

" Yon's it ! " exclaimed Mr. Jorrocks after a careful survey of 
the now developed scene. " Yon's it ! " repeated he, pointing with 
his ponderous whip towards a dark mass in the distance. 

"Ar's warn'd ye, is't," replied Pigg, replenishing his moutb 
with tobacco. " Ar's warn'd ye is't. It's a gay bit off though." 

" Trot on ! " retorted Mr. Jorrocks anxiously, spurring Arterxerxes 
vehemently, an insult that the animal resented by a duck of his head 
and a hoist of his heels. 

Bump, bump, trot, trot, squash, splash, swosh, they went through 



544 HAND LEY CROSS; 

the open fields, over the commons and heaths of a wet, sterile, 
Pewitey country, which gradually got worse as they neared the 
stunted brushwood of the straggling forest. At length they canife 
upon a nest of forest squatters, with their wretched mud cabins and 
rolling fences, by whom they were directed to a smart, well-hung 
green gate, with a cattle-gap on either side, as the comn>e&oen*ent of 
Mr. Prettyfat's inattentions. Some well-used horse fcrods, converging 
towards a gently rising hill on the right, from whence a curl of clear 
smoke was now rising, favoured the supposition that the representa- 
tive of Eoyalty was not far off. Though the morning was in its 
pride yet when our friends got to the front of the neat rose-entwined 
house, — the windows were as white as the rough cast walls — there 
were no signs of animation of any sort. " The beggar's not hup yet 
I do believe," observed Mr. Jorrocks, spurring the great splaw- 
footed Arterxerxes right on to the trimly shaven grass-plot in the 
centre of the carriage ring. Rising in his stirrups, and clearing his 
throat with a prolonged y-e-a-u-u-p ! as he prepared his big whip for 
execution, he gave such a cannonade of a crack, as sounded through 
the house and reverberated in the forest. 

" Sink, but that's a good 'un ! " grinned Pigg, listening to the oft- 
repeated echoes. 

Scarcely were the words out of his mouth, before, bang, went a 
lattice window up above, and a rival of the red-faced sun appeared 
beneath the night-capped head of the Deputy-surveyor. 

" What are you doin' here ? " roared a stentorian voice. 

" Rum, ar say ! rum ! " exclaimed Pigg, thinking he was asking 
what he would have to drink. 

" Doin' 'ere ! " replied Mr. Jorrocks, whose ears had served 
him better. '* Doin' 'ere ! vy I be come to 'unt the foxes to be 
sure ! " 

" Hunt the foxes," retorted Prettyfat, indignantly — " Is this a 
time to come and hunt foxes — none but chimney-sweeps would dis- 
turb one at this hour." 

" Sink, gin ye'll had mar hus ar'll get off and fight 'im ! " ex- 
claimed Pigg, furious at the comparison. 

" Hush ! " said Mr. Jorrocks, " let me talk to 'im." 

" Vy, didn't I tell ye I'd come nearly ? " asked our Master, rising 
in his stirrups and speaking in a conciliatory tone. 

" Come early," repeated Prettyfat recollecting the wide margined 
official, " come early, yes, but you don't call tramplin' on a gen'l'- 
man's grass-plot comin' early, do ye ? You don't 'spect to find a fox 
there." 

" Hoot, thou 'ard feuil, what's thou grumblin' 'bout thy grass 
plat for ? " demanded Pigg, in a tone of derision. 

" Treasonous, traitrous rogues," exclaimed Prettyfat. "I'll hand 
you over to the law officers of the Crown." 

" Let's off ! " ejaculated Jorrocks, catching Arterxerxes short 



OR, Mk. JORROCKS'S HUNT. 345 

round by the head — " Let's off ! — I've no relish for law, still less 
for hornamentin' the top of Temple Bar with my 'ead ; " so saying 
our Master spurred through the pack, and treading on a couple of 
hounds, raised such a clamour as drowned the further observations of 
the Sylvan Viceroy. Down they dived into the wood again. They 
had not got very far before they met Prettyfat's perspiring drab- 
turned-up-with -grease flunky, panting along with a pitchfork in his 
hand, who exclaimed, on seeing them — " Oh gen'l'men ! genTmen ! 
you should ha' been here a bit sooner (puif), that tarnation fox has 
been at the (puff), poultry again." 

" You don't say so ! " grinned Mr. Jorrocks, pulling short up and 
standing erect in his stirrups. " You don't say so ! Show us the 
way on 'im and I'll sarve 'im out. Off with the couples, Pigg," 
added he, turning to James, who was already on the ground dis- 
engaging the draft. Away they tear in all directions, howling and 
towling like mad. A shrill blast of the horn gets them into a smaller 
compass, and Mr. Jorrocks trots on preceded by the man, to show 
him where he last saw the fox. Old Ravager first drops his stern, 
feathers, but speaks not, when one of the new noisy ones imme- 
diately gives tongue, and the sage taking a fling in advance, gave 
something between a squeak and a note, which being immediately 
endorsed by the rest, they drive with an echoing crash into the thick 
of the forest. Now our friend's misfortunes commence, for the 
further they get from the seat of government, the worse the riding 
becomes. Impervious thickets, through which hounds meuse, but 
horses can make no way, soon separate them from the pack, whose 
music falls fainter and fainter on the ear ; our anxious Master pushes 
on, through the wet sterile sand, or slobby quagmires, impeded ever 
and anon by a fallen tree — in hopes that a favourable turn may 
again land him with the pack — " Dash my vig," says he, shortening 
his hold of Arterxerxes, who all but falls over a fern-concealed log — 
" Dash my vig, I wish I mayn't brick my neck in this terrible desert 
— most outlandish place I ever was in." 

" It is a rum place," observed Pigg, doing the like. 

" 'Ark ! where are they ? " asked Mr. Jorrocks, pulling short up, 
with his hand to his ear. 

" They seem arle oour," replied Pigg ; " wish these Quorn dogs 
may be quite what they oout." 

" It's the confounded hecho," observed Mr. Jorrocks, still listening 
attentively. 

" Ar tell ye, they've divided," asserted Pigg. 

" Then turn them," rejoined Mr. Jorrocks. 

"Torn them thysel'," retorted Pigg, dropping his elbows and 
starting off at a canter. 

" Now where's the man goin' to ! " exclaimed Mr. Jorrocks, eyeing 
his fast receding huntsman diving into the thicket — " Wot's he a 
leavin' me 'ere for ? " continued he, feeling the desolation of hi* 



346 HANDLEY CROSS; 

position. "Wish I may ever find my way out," continued he, look 
ing around on the grey unhealthy scene of stunted desolation. 

Thinking to stick to Pigg, at all events, our master set Arterxerxes 
agoing again, and blobbed on in his deep, black imprints. Sorry 
work it was for old Arterxerxes, who was no great hand at going 
through deep. Jorrocks spurred him, and jagged him, and cropped 
him, and called him all the great lumberin' henterprizeless beggars 
he could think of. In the excess of his energy — he overshot the 
mark, and kept right on, instead of turning short up a track on the 
left. The one he kept, from a uniformly rotten surface, now became 
alternately soft and hard, the water standing in the hollows like 
baths, and these, Arterxerxes, as if suspicious of treachery, commenced 
leaping, but possibly finding the trouble greater than he expected, he 
soon took to blundering through them, squirting the muddy water 
about in all directions. The forest still continued the same forlorn, 
unprosperous-looking place ; where the wet stood, moss grey, aguish- 
looking trees were dying by the middle, while higher up, the oaks 
battled with the briars and other smothering rubbish. Our Master 
however was too busy to observe anything of the sort — all he knew 
was, that it was werry bad riding. The sound of the horn on the 
left first caused him to pause and ponder whether he was on the track 
of Pigg. There were footmarks, but not so fresh as his should be. 
Another unmistakable twang, and Mr. Jorrocks determined to alter 
his course. Where all was so bad, there was nothing to choose. 
Accordingly he swung Arterxerxes short round, and turned him up 
another rushy, waterlogged track, that seemed to lead in the direction 
of the horn. Desperately bad the riding was. The nature of the 
ground seemed to change, and from hop-pole-like ash and alder, to 
be locked with nothing but stunted birch. The soil was black and 
peaty, with here and there the outline of a long-subsided drain. 

" Blow me tight," muttered Mr. Jorrocks, shortening his hold of 
his horse, " I wish I mayn't be gettin' bogged," and scarcely were 
the words out of his mouth ere Arterxerxes floundered up to the 
shoulders in a moss hag, shooting our friend softly over his head on 
to his side. 

" W-o-a-y oss ! W-o-a-a-y ! " roared our Master, now kicking on 
his back like a lively turtle, expecting to have the struggling animal 
a top of him every moment. 

" W-o-a-y oss ! w-o-a-a-y ! " repeated Jorrocks, jerking himself off 
to the side. The horse beat and plunged, and groaned and heaved, 
still stemming the black slough of despond, until he got fairly 
through, when after standing a second or two to shake himself, he 
set oif at an unprovoked trot, leaving our master in a most unhappy 
state of bewilderment as to how he should ever catch him, or get 
home without him. 

" Dash the beggar," groaned Jorrocks, as he saw him rolling his 
great hind quarters away in the distance — " Dash the beggar, but I 




MR. JORROCKS HAS ANOTHER BYE = DAY. 



OR, MR. JORROCKS'S HUNT. 34? 

wish I was a top on Mm, I'd give 'im summut to run for;" so saying, 
our Master gathered himself together, and skirting the moss hag, 
commenced the unpleasant performance of running in top boots, 
Squish, squash, splash, he floundered, now over the insteps, now up 
to the ankles, now almost up to the knees. He" soon began to sob 
and sigh — " Oh dear ! oh dear ; " groaned he, " did ever mortal man 
see sich a road — might as well try to run in a river. And that con- 
founded quad.," continued he, eyeing Arterxerxes still on the move. 
" Dash my vig, but Td give ye summut to run for if I had 'old on ye 
— I'd make ye cry * Capevi ! ' my frind. Drot the road ! " exclaimed 
he, as he plunged into a rush-concealed rut, and squirted the dirty 
water up into his face. "Well this is a pretty performance," continued 
he, mopping himself with a great crimson bandana — "Beats all 
others into fits. Cow-found these bye-days. They're always gettin* 
on me into grief. And now the brute's gone altogether," as the vista 
closed without Arterxerxes on the scene. " 'Ark ! I 'ear 'ounds. No, 
they're crows. Well, if this isn't a sickener, I don't know wot is — 
might as well try to run i' the mud off 'Ungerford stairs, as in thia 
sludge. Shouldn't like to clean these bouts I know," continued he, 
looking down on his black, and all black, tops. A bit of sound 
ground again tempted him into a trot, and at length brought him to 
the rising ground up which great Arterxerxes had disappeared. " Oh 
dear ! oh dear ! " groaned Mr. Jorrocks as a stitch in his side sud- 
denly stopped him. " Oh dear ! oh dear I I'm regularly floored. 
Might as well try to follow Halbert Smith hup Mont Blanc as 
Arterxerxes hup this incorrigible mountain ; " so saying our heavily- 
perspiring Master sought the support of a fallen willow, and distri- 
buting himself equitably among its branches, sofa fashion, proceeded 
to bewail his lamentable condition. " Oh dear ! oh dear ! " groaned 
he, " was there ever sich an misfortunit indiwidual as John Jorrocks ! 
was there ever an independent British grocer made sich a football on 
by fortin ? Tossed about the world like an old 'at. Tempted from 
the 'olesomest, the plisantest, the most salubrisome street i' London 
to take these 'ounds, and then be draw r n into this unpardonable wil- 
derness. Nothin' but rushes, and grass that Nebuchadnezzar 'imself 
would turn up his nose at. Oh dear ! oh dear ! " continued he, as 
his thoughts reverted to home and Handley Cross, " shall never see 
my dinner this day, Torbav soles with Budle cockle sauce, Dartmoor 
forest mutton, puddm', and taturs under tne meat, 'stead of starvin 1 
in a dreary desert — happed up by cock robins or other benevolent 
birds ; " a thought that so distracted our master as to cause him to 
start and turn in his couch, when the rotten main prop to his back 
giving way, he came crashing and smashing to the ground. 

" There I " ejaculated Mr. Jorrocks, " there ! " repeated he, as he 
lay among the rotten fragments. " Fallen a 'underd feet from the 
grand ! Broke every bone in my skin, I do believe. Bet a guinea 
'at to a 'alf-crown gossamer T 'aven't a 'ole bone i' my body." So 



S48 RANDLBY CK0S8 ; 

saying our master having carefully shaken first one limb and then 
another, to ascertain the amount of the mischief, rose slowly from 
the wet ground, and after anathematising the deceptive unfriendly 
tree, resumed the tracking of his horse up the hill. His boots were 
now well '" salivated " as he would say, and the cold bog-water 
poached and churned as he went. But if his feet were cold, his 
temper was warm, and various were the recreations he promised 
Arterxerxes. He would ride " his tail off," then recollecting how 
little he had, he " would ride him till he dropped." Then he would 
" skin him alive, and make his hide into a hair trunk " — then he 
would cut it into whip thongs — next into shoe-strings — finally he 
would give him " to the first mugger he met." 

As Mrs. G-lasse would say, however, " first catch your horse," and 
this seemed a remote possibility, for though our master in the course 
of a two miles tramp, which he called ten, did get a view of him once, 
the grass was of too coarse and uninviting a character to induce trie 
animal to take more than a passing snatch as he went, which he did 
at a pace that seemed well calculated to last for ever. At length our 
Master was fairly exhausted, and coming to a part of the forest that 
ran out into rocks and sandy heathery hills, he threw himself upon 
his back on a large flat stone, and kicking up first one leg and then 
the other, to let the bog-water out of his boots, moaned and groaned 
audibly. Beginning at a guinea, he bid up to a hundred and twenty, 
to be back at Handley Cross, and two hundred and fifty to be back 
in Great Coram Street, clear of the 'ounds and all belonging to them. 
And he vowed that if Diana would only 'ave the kindness to come to 
his assistance that once, he would never trouble her with anymore of 
his vagaries. No, indeed he wouldn't, he would sell his 'ounds and 
his 'osses, burn his boots and his Beckford, and drive about in a pill- 
box the rest of his life. 



OB, MB. JOBEOUKS'S HUNT. 



349 



CHAPTER XXXIX. 

A FRIEND IN NEED, &C— THE SHORTEST DAY. 




THE FRYING-PAN. 



UR Master was in- 
terrupted in the 
midst of his groans 
and lamentations 
by a low voice 
dropping down up- 
on him with a "Are 
you hurt sir ? " and 
starting up, he en- 
countered the sin is 
ter gaze of a hag- 
gard-looking man, 
dressed in a cap 
and complete suit 
of dirty grey tweed. 

"Are you hurt, 
sir ? " repeated the 
man, not getting an 
answer to bis former 
inquiry. 

" Hurt, sir ! " re- 
plied Mr. Jorrocks, 
eyeing him as 
though he expected 
an immediate stand 
and deliver; "Hurt, 
sir ! No, sir ! " 
clutching his for- 



midable hammer-headed whip, "I've lost my 'oss." 

" Oh, that's all, is it ? " sneered the man. 

" D'ye call that nothin' ? " retorted Mr. J orrocks, bridling 
up. 

" My little gal paid she thought you'd broke your back by the noise 
you were makin','' replied the man. 

" Did she ? " rejoined Mr. Jorrocks, feeling he had been making a 
great fool of himself. " Did she ? Then tell your little gal she'd 
made a mistake." 

" Then I can't do nothin' for you ? " observed the man, after a 
pause. 

" In course you can," replied Mr. Jorrocks ; " you can catch my 
'oss for me." 



S50 HANDLEY CROSS; 

" Is he near at hand ? " asked the man. 

Mr. Jorroclcs. — " That I don't know. Far or near, I'll give ye 'alf- 
a-cro\vn for bringin' 'im to me." 

" Doubt I daren't ventur," replied the man reluctantly. 

Mr. Jorroclcs. — " Huts, there's nobody to 'urt ye." 

" Can't go so far from home," rejoined the man. 

Mr. Jorroclcs (brightening up). — "Wot! you live near 'ere, do 
ye : 

"Not far off," replied the man, with a jerk of his head, as much as 
to say " I'm not going to tell you." 

Mr. Jorroclcs. — " Well, but p'raps you could get me summut to 
drink, for my 'oss has run away with my monkey, and I'm fit to die 
of habsolute unquenchable thirst." 

The man eyed him suspiciously, and at length drawled out, "What, 
you've been hunting, have you ? " 

" 'Deed, 'ave I," replied our Master ; " started afore daylight." 

" It 'ill be Mr. Jorrocks, I dessay," observed the man, with an air 
of enlightenment. 

" Wot, you knows me, do ye ! " exclaimed our Master, brighten- 
ing up. 

" Yes, sir — no, sir — that's to say, sir, I know your huntsman, sir — 
Mr. Pigg, sir." 

" Indeed," mused Mr. Jorrocks. 

" Mr. Pigg and I are very old friends, sir," continued the man, 
"very old friends, indeed — most respectable man, Mr. Pigg, sir — 
most fortunate in having such a servant." 

" Humph," grunted Mr. Jorrocks, not being quite so sure of that. 

" Finest sportsman in the world, sir," continued the man — " finest 
sportsman in the world, sir — can do a'most anything — sing a song, 
dance a jig, grin for baccy, play dominoes, prick i' the belt, or thimble- 
rig. If that man could have got a spirit license he'd ha' made a 
fortin. He'd ha' bin the first man o' the day." 

" in-deed," mused our Master. 

" Most accomplished gentleman," continued the speaker — " most 
accomplished gentleman. I'd rayther have James Pigg for a partner 
than any man I ever saw." 

" And pray may I ax your name ? " inquired our Master, curious 
to know something more of his huntsman's friend. 

" 0, my name's Turveylow, Tom Turveylow, but he won't know me 
by that name. Whiskey Jim," added he, dropping his voice with a 
knowing leer, " is the name he'll know me by." 

" I twig," winked our Master. "You aven't a drop o' the cretur 
with ye, 'ave ye ? " 

" Hard-bye," replied the man, " hard-bye," jerking his thumb over 
his shoulder. 

" Let's at it," said Mr. Jorrocks, brightening up. 

" You're safe, I s'pose," hesitated the man. 



OR, MR. JORROCKS'S HUNT. 361 

" Honour bright," replied Mr. Jorrocks ; " wouldn't peach if it was 
ever so — " 

" Well, I don't think any friend of Pigg's would," said the man, 
gaining courage ; so saying, he wheeled about, and beckoning Jor- 
rocks to follow him, led the way, across the sharp sandy heath, 
towards a precipitous range of rocks, whose heights commanded an 
extensive view over the forest and surrounding country. It was 
towards their rugged base that they now directed their steps. 
Passing some large upright stones, that guarded the entrance to 
a sort of outer court, they came all at once upon the smuggler's 
cave. 

" Bow your head and bow your body," said the man, turning and 
suiting the action to the word as he reached the frowning portcullis- 
like rock that guarded the entrance. 

" Come on ! come on ! you've nothin' to fear," cried he, seeing 
Jorrocks stood irresolute, " there's no honester man in the world 
than your humble servant." 

"Self-praise is no commendation," muttered our Master, going 
down on all-fours preparatory to creeping under the beetling rock. 
This let him into the smuggler's ante-room, a cold, damp, dropping 
den, formed from a natural cavity in the rock. Beyond was a larger, 
loftier cave, and over a bright wood fire, illuminating the hard walls, 
was a fine Venetian-shaped girl, in a tight blue bodice and red flannel 
petticoat, chucking the savoury contents of a frying-pan up in the 
air. 

Her back being turned, she was not aware of the enterers, until her 
temporary lord and master exclaimed, " Sally ! here's old keep-the- 
tambourine-a-roulin's master." 

11 Lawk, Jim ! 'ow could you bring a gent when I 'aven't got my 
stockin's on ? " exclaimed the lady, whisking round and showing the 
beautiful symmetry of her delicate white legs. She then turned her 
lustrous eyes upon our friend and basilisked him with a smile. 
Mr. Jorrocks stood transfixed. He thought he had never seen a 
greater beauty. Sir Archy Depecarde's housekeeper was nothing to 
her. 

" Take a seat, sir, take a seat," said the smuggler, sweeping a 
bundle of nets and snares off a stool — for of course he combined the 
trade of poacher with that of smuggler — and placing it behind our 
Master. Mr. Jorrocks did as he was bid, and sat lost in the novelty of 
the scene, the beauty of the lady, and the savouriness of the pig's-fry 
she was cooking. 

" You'll take your dinner with us, sir, I hope," said the smuggler, 
possessing himself of our Master's hat and whip. "You'll take your 
dinner with us, sir, I hope," adding, as he chucked them into a 
corner, " any friend of Pigg's is welcome here." 

" Much plissur," replied Mr. Jorrocks, who all of a sudden waxed 
'* uncommon hungry." 



SftS BAND LEY CM 88 ; 

" Get the gent a plate and things, Ann," said the smuggler to the 
little girl who had reported J.'s vagaries on his back. 

The implements of eating were quickly placed on the already set- 
out table, and our party were presently at work at the fry, which 
was followed by roast potatoes and a jugged hare, late a tough 
old denizen of the forest ; oai-cake, cheese, and bottled ale com- 
pleted the repast. Mr. Jorrocks played a most satisfactory knife 
and fork, declaring, as he topped up with < a heavy cannonade of 
whiskey, that he couldn't have dined better with the ■ Grocer's 
Company. 

" Good stuff that," said the smuggler, with a knowing wink at 
the bright, sparkling whiskey. 

" Capital," replied Mr. Jorrocks, replenishing his glass. 

" I toast you, sir," said the smuggler, bowing, glass in hand to our 
master. 

"You do me proud," said Mr. Jorrocks, returning the salute. 

" Not at all, sir," replied the condescending host. " I believe you 
to be a most respectable man." 

Mr. Jorrocks next looked towards the lady, who acknowledged the 
compliment with a sweet glance. 

The smuggler then, as in duty bound, gave the health of his royal 
partner, the Queen, after which other loyal and patriotic toasts 
followed, and Mr. Jorrocks gave the ladies generally, adding, as he 
leered at his hostess, that he " liked a fine well-flavoured ooman." 
He then began to get noisy. It was the old story. 

" You must (hiccup) with my 'ounds (hiccup), best 'ounds goin' 
(hiccup), best 'ounds in (hiccup) England. Best 'ounds in (hiccup) 
Europe — best 'ounds in (hiccup) Europe, Hasia, Hafrica, 'Merica — 
(hiccup)." Then, as he rolled about on his stool, forgetting there 
was no back to it, he lost his balance, and kicking up the ricketty 
table with his toes, came heavily down on his back. What happened 
after, is matter of uncertainty, for the nest thing our Master remem- 
bers was finding himself getting transferred from a light-tilted cart on 
a bright frosty night into a Hundley Cross fly, at Rosemary Lane gate ; 
but when he came to pay the man his fare he found his purse was 
gone, which he might have thought had dropped out of his pocket 
into the cart, were it not that his watch was wanting too. However, 
being at home, he just told Betsy to pay the fare, and clambered up- 
stairs to bed as if nothing " 'ticlar " had happened. And next day 
Pigg gave such a wonderful account of the run, and how he would 
have killed the fox half-a-dozen times if he had only had Jorrocks 
to help him, thai our Master, forgetting all his promises to Diana, 
very soon had another turn at the forest. 

Mr. Jorrocks's next adventure in the hunting line originated in a 
very furious letter from a gentleman, signing himself " John Gollar- 
field, farmer, Hardpye Hill," complaining bitterly of the devastation 
of his hen-roost, and calling loudly for vengeance against the foxes. 




* \ 



OR, MR. JORROCKS'S HUNT. 353 

Accordingly our Master made a meet for Hardpye Hill, instead of 
Langton Pound, as he intended. 

The road to the hill lying through some roomy inclosures, and 
Christmas having let loose its enterprise upon the country, great was 
the spurting and racing that marked the line there. Mr. Jorrocks, 
arrayed in his best pink, jogged pompously on with his cavalcade, 
receiving the marked attention of the country. Arrived at the hill, 
he turned into a grass field to give his hounds a roll and hear the 
news of the day — how Miss Glancey was after Captain Small — how 
Mrs. Buss had captivated old Frill. Then, when the cantering, 
Bmoking cover hack swells came up, they resolved themselves into a 
committee of taste, scrutinising this hound and that, passing their 
opinions on the pack generally, and on the Bugginson hounds in 
particular. Some thought they were coarse, some thought they were 
common ; but when they heard they were drafts from the Quorn, they 
were unanimous in thinking they must be good — especially when Mr. 
Jorrocks broadly hinted he had given Day ten guineas a couple for 
them. The noise the party made prevented their hearing sundry 
ominous moans and lows in the neighbourhood, which gradually rose 
to a roar, until a simultaneous crash, and cry of " Mind the bull ! " 
drew all eyes to the bank of the adjoining fence, where, with head 
down and tail up, a great roan bull was seen poising himself prepara- 
tory to making a descent upon the field. Down he came with a roar 
that shook the earth to the very centre, and sent the field flying in 
all directions. Mr. Jorrocks, who was on foot among his hounds, 
immediately rushed to his horse, which Ben had let loose, but making 
a bad shot at the stirrup, he became a point tfappui for the bull, who 
after him with a vigour and determination that looked very like a 
finisher. Our Master was carried, clinging to the neck, half across 
the field in a " now on, now off" sort of way that would have made 
any one feel very uncomfortable who had an annuity depending on 
his life. At last he got fairly into his saddle, and setting himself 
down to ride, he threw his heart boldly over a stiff " on and off," and 
shoved Xerxes at it in a way that proved too many for the bull. 
Ploughing up the pasture with his feet, in his effort to stop himself 
as he neared it, he tossed his great wide-horned head in the air, and 
uttering a frightful bellow that thundered through the valley and 
reverberated on Hardpye Hill, he turned, tail erect, to take a run at 
some one else. And having succeeded by the aid of gates in placing 
a couple more enclosures between them, Mr. Jorrocks sought a rising 
ground from which he thought over the magnitude of his adventure, 
and how he would like to have Leech to draw him taking the leap. 
And having gained breath as he magnified it, and having duly con- 
gratulated himself upon his escape, he out with his horn and blew 
his hounds together, leaving Hardpye Hill as he came, and entering 
among the anathemas in his Journal the following : — 

" C&w-found all farmers say I, wot don't tie up their bulls ! " 

D D 



354 EANDLEY CJROSS ; 

A bad beginning in this case did not make a good ending, fot 
though our Master drew on till dark, which it was at half-past two, 
he never had a touch of a fox, and he sent word to Gollarfield, by 
the mole-catcher, that he was a " reg'lar 'umbug," and Pigg desired 
the man to add that he would fight him for what he pleased. 



CHAPTER XL. 

JAMES PIGG AGAIN ! ! ! — MR. JORROCKS'S JOURNAL. 

The smugglei was right in his estimate of Pigg's abilities, for, in 
addition to his great talents for hunting, he had a turn for low 
gambling, which the uninitiated sometimes confuse with legitimate 
Bporting. Among other things, he was in the habit of betting on 
the weight of people's pigs, backing his own opinion as to what they 
were, or would feed up to, against the opinions of others ; quite as 
useful and praiseworthy a pursuit, by the way, as people backing 
horses they have never seen, and over whose running they can 
exercise no control : be that as it may, however, Pigg was in the 
habit of exercising his judgment in that way, and had been highly 
successful at Handley Cross. He had come nearer the weight of Giles 
Jollyjowle's pig than eleven others, and had completely distanced all 
competitors in his estimate of Blash, the barber's, Hampshire hogs. 
He had also carried off the sweepstakes at two goose clubs, and 
received the second prize in a race for a hat. In addition to all this, 
his " cousin," Deavilboger, who, notwithstanding their little differ- 
ences about hunting, had still a sort of sneaking regard for " wor 
James," had marked his appreciation of the festive season of the year, 
by sending him a large grey hen of whiskey, so that, what with his 
winnings and it, James was generally in a state of half fuddle. He 
would take as much as he could manage if kept quiet, and more than 
he could manage if put into motion. Now, as bad luck would have 
it, our uneasy, insatiable Master, wishing to retrieve his blank day 
before the usual stoppage of the season, thought to get something out 
of the fire by a quiet " bye " at Newtimber Forest, the scene of his 
former misfortunes. Pigg, who had just paid his second morning 
visit to the hen, did not make any decided objection to the proposal, 
backed as it was by Mr. Jorrocks's plausible observation, that at that 
critical season of the year it " be'oved them to get every day they 
possibly could," and it was not until they reached the Copperchink 
Gate, and Pigg pressed a sovereign on the woman's acceptance for 
the toll, desiring her, when told to wait for his change, to " keep it," 
adding, that their " 'ard maister had plenty o' brass," that Jorrocka 
was awe how matters stood. Recollecting, however, the " Cat and 



OR, MR. JORROCKS'S HUNT. 35& 

Custard-pot " scene, Mr. Jorrocks did not make any observation, but 
quietly getting his silver, trotted on as if it was " all right," hoping 
Pigg would sober as he went. When they got to Foggythorpe Green, 
where the road diverges through the fields, another scene occurred. 
Pigg wanted to pay the field-gates, and holloaed at a woman who 
happened to be passing, to " tak' her money," tendering a shilling, 
as if he had been kept waiting at a turnpike-gate for an hour. Next, 
as he was making, as he thought, a most sagacious steer through a 
gate, his eye deceived him as to the number of posts, and, catching 
by his toe, he was swept head foremost off into a complete hip-bath 
of mud. He was too wise, however, to let go his hold of the bridle, 
and as the horse kept smelling at him as he lay under his nose, Pigg 
kept vociferating, " Sink, they dinna mak their yets hafe wide 
enough ! They dinna mak their yets hafe wide enough, ar say ! " 
At length Mr. Jorrocks got him raised and scraped, and stuck 
straight on his horse, and they proceeded on their course together. 
Arrived at the wood, Mr. Jorrocks, thinking the best plan would be 
to humour him, said if Pigg would go one way, he would go the other, 
which James assenting to, the hounds dashed into cover, and master 
and man proceeded to " yoicks " and crack their whips, having the 
hounds in a widening space between them. The wood was thick and 
rough, and as Jorrocks proceeded, Pigg's unearthly notes gradually 
died out, and our Master had all the noise to himself. Being fond 
of the sound of his own voice, he proceeded, yoicking and cracking 
his whip, exhorting the hounds to " find 'im," and keeping a good 
lookout a-head, when, to his surprise, at a cross ride, Pigg's horse came 
snorting and cantering towards him. Pigg, feeling uncomfortable, 
had laid down to sleep, and left his horse to his own devices. 
" W-o-a-y, my man ! W-o-a-y ! " cried Jorrocks, fishing at him 
with his whip as he approached, which only caused the horse to start 
and rush past him at a gallop. "W-h-o-a-y, my man," roared 
Jorrocks, as the horse went scuttling down the ride without rhyme 
or reason. " Con-found the hanimal," continued Mr. Jorrocks, afi 
he eyed him staring about from side to side with the reins all 
dangling about his feet. " Con-found the hanimal," repeated he, 
" was there ever sich a daft divil as that ? — was there ever sich 
a misfortunit individual as John Jorrocks ? Cus that Pigg, 
I wish I'd never seen 'im — worst varmint I ever knew. Yoicks, 
Lavender, good betch ! Bet a guinea 'at we find a fox, and the 
'ounds run clean away from me. Lose either them or my dinner, or 
both. Well," continued Mr. Jorrocks, spurring on to where 
Lavender was feathering, — "well, needs must when a certain old 
gen'l'man drives, but if I 'ad my own way, it would be ' 'ome, sweet 
'ome,' for me. Dublin Bay 'addocks, with appropriate sauce, goose, 
and happle pye. Oh dear ! A fox ! for a 'underd ; a fox ! for any- 
thing that anybody likes to say," continued our Master, staring his 
eyes out as he gets his horse short by the head. " Now for ten 

d D 2 



356 HANDLEY CROSS; 

miles as the crow flies, with ten bottomless bracks, and Berwickshire 
doubles without end. Ah ! thank 'eavens it's not ! " continued he, 
as a great banging hare bounced out of the wood, and took down the 
ride with Lavender full cry after her, and Jorrocks cracking his whip 
full cry after Lavender. At length he stopped her, and taking 
advantage of the partial scoring to cry off the hounds, he out with 
his horn and blew a shrill reverberating blast that drew out the rest, 
and away he rode with the hounds all clustering about his horse's 
heels as if he was going to lay them on to a scent, but in reality to get 
them out of cover. The horn operated doubly, for a smock-frocked 
countryman, having caught Pigg's horse, came cantering up to its 
sound, and Jorrocks and he were presently on the Woodford and 
Handley Cross road. Promising the man half a crown and his 
dinner for seeing him safe home, Mr. Jorrocks started away at a brisk 
trot, hoping he was getting rid of Pigg for good. And when " wor 
James" awoke, and learnt from a tape-selling tramp what had 
happened, he was very wrath, and vowed " he wad n't stand such 
work — he wadn't be robbed in that sort of way — no, he wadn't. 
He'd hev redress. He'd hev justice — yis, he'd hev justice — he 
wadn't be treated in that sort of way ; " and he talked and fretted 
himself into believing that he had most infamously used. Finding 
there was a magistrate in the neighbouring village of Yelverton, 
thither he directed his steps, and gaining an audience, boldly accused 
his master of stealing his horse, and applied for a warrant for his 
apprehension. The justice, seeing the maudlin state he was in, 
humoured the application, but pretending it would be necessary, in 
consequence of a recent decision that a man may help himself to a 
horse to forward him on a journey, to see that Mr. Jorrocks had not 
taken it for that purpose, he got Pigg into his dog-cart and had him 
driven over to Handley Cross. 

And when Mr. Jorrocks reproved him for his improprieties, he 
replied that he (Jorrocks) " had ne business out a hontin' on a 
drinkin' day." 

"We will again have recourse to our worthy friend's journal for an 
outline of such proceedings as are not of sufficient importance to 
demand separate chapters to themselves. The following seems an 
original idea. 

" Notice from the churchwardens and overseers, that in consequence 
of several mad dogs havin' made their appearance, all dogs were to 
be muzzl'd, and requirin' me to see that the 'ounds were properly 
muzzl'd before they went out to hunt. "Wrote and told them I didn't 
believe there were such a set of jackasses in Her Majesty's dominions 
as to suppose an M.F.H. would go out with a pack of muzzl'd hounds. 
— Absurd ! This is Mello's doing. Will pay him off. 

" New Tear's Bay. — Sich a crowd ! Sich compliments of the 
season, and sich screws. Old Doleful grinnin' about on Fair Rosa- 
mond like Death on the Pale 'Oss. Found in the Cloud Quarries, 



OR, MR. JORROCKS'S HUNT 357 

but might as well have been in the clouds, the field surrounded it 
so, and drove the fox into the mouth of the 'ounds. A young 
gentleman in nankeens and patent leather boots, rode over ol$ 
Barbara. ' That's right I ' exclaimed Pigg, * ride amang 'em ! — ride 
amang 'em ! Kill a hund or two ; we've plenty mair at hyem ! It 
mun be a poor concern that won't stand a hund a-day.' Differ from 
Pigg there though. Howsomever, old Barbara ain t worth much. 
Declared she was the best in the pack notwithstanding. 

"Staunton Snivey. — Batsay brought up shavin' water, saying 
Binjimin wished to be excused 'unting, havin' got the gout. All 
moonshine, I dare say ! Boy has no passion for the chase. Have a 
good mind to stuff him full of Hunter's pills, and see if they will 
have any effect upon him. Wot business has a boy like him with 
the gout ! Only for rear admirals, town counsellors, and such like 
cocks. Caught Charley pinchin' Belinda under the table. Mounted 
him on Xerxes, as Ben couldn't go. Largish field. Captain Thomp- 
son (who never pays his three pounds) observed he never saw a pack 
of fox-hounds without a whip before, and muttered somethin' about 
Master livin' out of the hounds. Shall set Fleecy at him. 

" Drew Longford Plantations ; then on to Fawsley Wood. Found 
immediately, but Reynard inclined to hang in cover. No great scent 
either, but cover surrounded with foot people and little holiday boys. 
Bin useful in coaxin' them into crowds, to listen to his 'hallegations,' 
as he calls his lies. At length Reynard broke from the West end, 
and made straight for Iver Heath, runnin* a wide circuit by Staunton 
Snivey, and over the hill, up to Bybury Wood. Scent poor and pace 
bad. All the holiday hobbledehoy boys treadin' on the 'ounds' tails. 
A short check at Farmer Hayband's, and thought all was over, when 
Priestess hit it off in a grass field behind the barn, and away they 
went with the scent improvin' at every yard. Pace changed from an 
'unting run to a reg'lar bust, and quite straight over the cream of 
the country. 

" How the tail lengthened ! A quarter of a mile, increasin' as 
they went. Young gen'lemen, charged to bring home the brush, 
found their grass ponies beginnin' to gape. Captain Shortflat made 
Duncan Nevin's mare cry Capevi on Hutton Bank top, and many 
bein' anxious to give in, great was the assistance he received. 
Major Spanker would bleed her in the jugular, Mr. Wells thought 
the thigh vein, and another thought the toe, so that the mare stood 
a good chance of bein' bled to death, if Duncan's man who was cruis- 
ing about hadn't fortinately cast up and saved her from her frinds. 

" On the hounds went for Crew, passing Limbury, leaving Argod 
Dingle to the right, over the Lily-white Sand Railway near the 
station at Stope, pointing for Gore Cross, the fox finally taking refuge 
in a pig-sty behind the lodge of Button Park. Piggy at home and 
unfortunately killed, but who would grudge a pig after such a werry 
fine run ? 



588 BANDLEY CROSS; 

" Pigg rode like a trump ! — seven falls — knocked a rood of brick- 
wall down with his 'ead. What a nob that must be ! Charley left 
one of his Yorkshire coat-laps in a hedge — Barnington lost his hat — 
Hudson his whip — Mr. Ramshay a stirrup, and Captain Martyn his 
cigar-case. Only seven up out of a field of sixty — day fine and bright 
— atmosphere clear, as if inclining for frost — hope not. 

" Jan. 7th. — Reg'lar decided black frost — country iron-bound — 
landscape contracted — roads dry as bones — mud scrapins like granite 
— never saw so sudden a change ; thought yesterday it looked like 
somethin' ; the day changed, and hounds ran so hard in the after- 
noon ; Pigg thinks it won't last, but I think it will ; 'opes he'll be 
right. 

" 8th. — Frost semper eadem, 'arder and 'arder as Ego would say ; 
windows frost fretted — laurels nipped — water-jugs frozen — shavin'- 
brush stiff — sponge stuck to water-bottle, and towel 'ard. Pigg still 
says it won't last — wish he may be right — little hail towards night. 

" 9 th. — Alternate sun and clouds — slight powderin' of snow on 
cold and exposed places — largish flakes began to fall towards after- 
noon, and wind got up — purpleish sun-set — walked hounds before 
Sulphur Wells Hall, after feedin', but they had a cold, dingy look, 
and I hadn't heart to blow my 'orn. Gabriel Junks doesn't seem to 
care about the cold, and gives no indication of a change — Oh for one 
of his screams ! 

" 10th. — Awoke, and found the country under two feet of snow. 
Well, it's always somethin' to know the worst, and be put out of 
suspense. Wind high, and drifted a large snow-wreath before the 
garden-gate — tempestersome day — Can't stir out without gettin' up 
to the hocks in snow. Desired Binjimin to sweep the way to the 
stable and kennel. Boy got a broom, and began 'issing as if he 
were cleanin' an 'oss. Letter from Giles Shortland, requestin' the 
M. F. H. to subscribe to a plonghin' match at Tew. Answered that 
I should be werry 'appy to subscribe, and wish I could see them at 
work. Old Dame Tussac came with eight turkey-heads in a bag — 
fox had killed them last night, and she wanted pay. The bodies were 
at home — told her to bring the bodies — will make werry good stock 
for soup : one doesn't know but she may have sold the bodies. 
Wrote Bowker to go self and wife to sleep in my bed in Great Coram 
Street, to get it well haired. Shall run up to town and see the 
pantomime, and how things go on at the shop. 

" Old Doleful called with a requisition for me to give a sportin' 
lector — axed wot I should lector upon — said he thought ' scent ' 
would be a very good subject. Told him, all that could be said 
about scent was that it was a werry queer thing. Nothin' so queer 
as scent 'cept a woman. Told him to compose an oration upon it 
himself if he could. He then said summering the 'unter would be a 
good subject. Told him that corn and a run in the carriage was the 
true way of summering the 'unter. Riding to 'ounds he then 



OR, MR. JORROCKS'S HUNT. 359 

thought would do. Told him I wasn't a 'g-u-r-r along ! there are 
three cftuple of 'ounds on the scent' man at all, and ridin' arter 
'ounds wouldn't draw. Didn't seem to take the difference bub took 
his departure, which was just as well. 

"LETTER FROM BOWKER. 

" l Honoured Sir, — Tours is received, and Mrs. B. and I will be 
proud to act the part of warming-pans. I suppose we may expect you 
in a day or two. You will be sorry to hear that poor Billy was hung 
this morning. He died game . As it was strongly suspected he had 
accomplices, a mitigation of punishment was offered if he would disclose 
his confederates. Billy listened sullenly to the offer, and passing his 
fingers through his thick curly hair, he said, " Look here, masters, if 
every hair on this head was a life, I wouldn't peach to save a single 
one" At length he confessed — " I did boil the exciseman! " said he. 
Poor Billy ! All the little beggarly boys, and hoarse-throated scoundrels 
in the town are screaming his dying speech and confession about, when 
* I did boil the exciseman" w as all that he said. I am greatly distressed 
at poor Billy's fate. 

1 Take him for all and all, 
We ne'er shall look upon his like again.' 

" * London is suicidically gloomy to-day — I feel as if I could cut my 
throat — would that I could leave it I — But 



The lottery of my destiny 

Bars me the right of voluntary choosing. 



u ' Tm about tired of Old Tivist. Our business is fast falling off, 
and an old man's trade never rallies. Might I take the liberty of 
asking if you think a snuff and cigar shop would answer at Handley 
Cross ? I have a splendid new nigger, five feet six, with a coronet fuU 
of party-coloured feathers on his head, a sky-blue jacket ivith gold lace, 
and a pair of broad red-striped trousers, leaving half his black thighs 
bare, that I thought of setting at the door in Eagle Street, but would 
reserve him for the Gross, if you thought it tvould do. Of course, 
I would carry on business in Eagle Street as well — at least for the 
present ; but I have plenty of canisters, wooden rolls of tobacco to stock 
a branch establishment, and Mrs. Bowker fancies a change of air ivould 
do her asthma good. Pray excuse the freedom, and believe me to remain, 

«' Dear Sir, 

" * Yours most respectfully, 

a ' Wm. Bowker, 
'* * To J, Jobbocks, Esq.* " 



360 



HAND LEY CROSS; 



CHAPTER XLI. 

THE CUT-'EM-DOWN CAPTAIN'S QUADS. 




GOING TO MEET BUGGINSON. 

Christmas, that withering, relentless season, that brings so many 
people short up, having exercised its blighting influence on our cut- 
em-down Captain, the following hand-bill, having paid a visit to St. 
Botolph's Lane, arrived in due course at Handley Cross, " with Mr. 
Castor's comp t8 ." written inside the envelope : — 

HUNTERS FOR SALE. 

TO BE SOLD BY AUCTION, AT TWELVE O'CLOCK ON WEDNESDAY NEXT, 

BY MR. TAPPINGTON, 

IN THE IMPERIAL HOTEL YARD, LOOPLINE, 

(The property of an Officer going Abroad), the following very superior 

HORSES, 
well known with Sir Peregrine Cropper's and Mr. Slasher's bounds. 

1st. — Talavera, a brown bay, with black points, 7 years old, nearly 

thorough bred. 
2nd. — Coeunna, a bright chestnut, or bitter-beer colour, 8 years old, 

also nearly thorough bred. 

Loopline is at the Junction of the Lily -White Sand with the Gravelsin and 
Boodler Railways, and Trains stop there every hour. 
Loopline. 



OR, MR. JORROCKS'S HUNT. 361 

" Humph," said Mr. Jorrocks, reading ft at breakfast as he dry- 
shaved his chin, " Humph — got to the end of his tether has he ? 
thought 'ow it would be — Not 'zacfcly the time for buyin' quads 
though, with a yard and a 5 alf of snow on the ground ; 'owsomever 
that 'ill make 'em easier bought praps. — All the swells will be hup in 
town seeing their aunts or gettin' tkeir 'airs cut. May as well 'ave a 
ride in the rail as poke about i' *he snow — shall go second class 
though," adding — 

" X was expensive and soon became poor, 
Y was the wise man and kept want from the door." 

Accordingly on the appointed day, our Master having filled one 
pantaloon pocket with sovereigns and five pound notes, and the 
other with samples of tea, proceeded on his destination, telling Mrs. 
Jorrocks he was going to meet Bugginson. Screech — hiss — whistle, 
roll, rattle, roll — porter ! what's this station ? — whistle — hiss — screech 
— roll, rattle, roll, " tickets ready, please, Loopline station ! Loopline 
station ! change here for the Boodler line," and he was there. 

Loopline, with its piles of dirty snow and yards of icicles, looked 
very different to what it did on Mr. Jorrocks's former visit, and even 
Castors seemed greatly the worse for wear. The Captain's horses 
having in his judgment, nearly completed the awkward exploit of 
eating their heads off before the storm came, he felt morally certain 
that it would last for six weeks or two months, which would leave 
him desperately in the lurch. The consequence was he had taken it 
uncommonly to heart, and his buff waistcoat and drab shorts and 
continuations were a good deal roomier. 

" Well, old bouy, 'ow goes it ? " asked Jorrocks, greeting him 
familiarly as he found him pacing restlessly up and down the stable 
yard. 

" Oh ! sir, mister, mister, mister," replied Castors, not being able 
to hit off the name, " Oh ! sir, I've been hill, desperate hill. I've 
'ad the lumbago, sir, to an extent, sir, that's 'ardly creditable, sir." 

" You don't say so," observed Mr. Jorrocks compassionately, "why 
don't you take a leetle o' the old remedy — 'ot with — " 

" Ah, 'ot with," sighed Castors with a shake of his head, as he 
fixed his watery grey eyes earnestly on Jorrocks, to see if he was not 
one of the many customers with whom he drunk for the " good of 
the house." " Ah, 'ot with, indeed ! " repeated he, as if nothing 
loth to try the remedy. 

" You don't want to buy any tea ? " said Mr. Jorrocks, producing 
a sample as he spoke. 

" Oh, it's Mr. Jorrocks ! " now exclaimed Castors brightening up, 
" It's Mr. Jorrocks, — you'd get a bill from me, sir, didn't ye ? a bill 
'bout the Capting's 'osses, ye know. You told me to send you one, 
you know." 

"Ah, 'osses, indeed," replied Mr. Jorrocks. "No time this for 



362 HANDLEY CROSS. 

buying 'osses, old bouy — glass down to fecit — country bund hup in a 
hiron frost and like to continue under snow for the next two 
months ; " Mr. Jorrocks breathing heavily on the bright pure 
atmosphere as he spoke. 

" Too 'ard to last, too 'ard to last," retorted Castors, fidgeting at 
the observation. " Never know'd it stand when it was so desperate 
'ard," added he, with a heavy emphasis on the " desfrate." How he 
wished the Captain had gone to the Cross Keys, the White Hart, 
any house but his. 

" You'd better look at the tea," observed Mr. Jorrocks, still hold- 
ing the sample out on the palm of his hand, " Tea 'ill be hup you'll 
see, and you'd better buy afore it rises. This is a first chop article — 
Lapsang Souchong." 

" Well, but I'm busy just now, I'm busy just now," retorted 
Castors testily, " Come after the sale, sir, come after the sale, and 
we'll see if we can do business." 

" Well," replied Mr. Jorrocks, pocketing the sample, and button- 
ing his brown bear cloth jacket comfortably up to the throat, " I'll 
go into the town and see what I can do with the grocers there ; " so 
saying he swaggered off, without noticing Castors' exclamation of 
" You'll be back to the sale then ! you'll be back to the sale ! " 

Twelve o'clock came, but brought with it no symptoms of a start. 
— Half -past, and still the same. Time is of little value in the 
country. At length as one o'clock drew near, a lank-haired seedy- 
looking half boots, half waiter sort of youth appeared with what at 
first sight might have been taken for a Punch and Judy show, but 
which, on being placed on the ground, proved to be the auctioneer's 
rostrum. This was a signal for sundry indolent looking, sportingly 
attired but horseless youths, and small dealers with their slangey 
attendants, to turn in, and some dozen drab coated farmers, for it 
was market day, and general idlers mingling with the rest, the 
auctioneer swigged off the remains of his tumbler of brandy and 
water, and attended by a brilliant staff, consisting of the aforesaid 
seedy one, swaggered imposingly upon the scene. He was a burly, 
big-faced, impudent fellow, with a round of whisker, a consequential 
sort of hat, and a corporation so large as to look as if he had thriven 
m all the occupations he had turned his hand to — Hatter, Wine 
Merchant, Coal Merchant, Accountant, Land Agent, Temperance 
Hotel Keeper, Stationer, Broker, and General Negotiator. 

He seemed to be a sort of character, for his appearance was hailed 
with a round of jokes and coarse salutes, which gradually subsided 
into inquiries after the health of Mrs. Tappington and the little Taps. 
Having replied to these, he ascended the rostrum, and clearing his 
throat with a substantial hem ! commanded silence, and proceeded tc 
read the conditions of sale ; after which Talavera came trotting up 
to the hammer. 

"Now," said the auctioneer, " will any gentleman with the wit in 



OB, MB. JOBBOCKS'S HUNT. 



363 



his head and the money in his pocket, favour me with an offer for 
this proud animal, whose worth is far beyond the reach of my 'umble 
imagination ! " 

" Make a ring, gentlemen, make a ring," continued he, motioning 
with his hand, adding to the ostler, " trot him round, and he'll soon 




MIND HIS HEELS !' 



enlarge the circle of our acquaintance," whereupon crack went the 
circus-whip of the man in the middle, and round spun the horse with 
his heels in the air, snowballing the shrinking company with the 
greatest precision. 

That feat being accomplished, he was again trotted up to the 
rising ground by the rostrum, where he stood panting and snorting 
with a watchful eye, wondering what was going to happen. " Xow, 



364 BAND LEY CROSS; 

gentlemen," continued the auctioneer, "perhaps some of you will 
favour me with an offer for this proud animal — a horse, as far as my 
'umble judgment goes, as near perfection as it is possible to 
imagine. What will any gentleman say for a beginning ? " 

" Ah ! to be sure," to a dirty-looking anything-arian, who now 
approached him, "ah ! to be sure, examine him, sir ! examine him 
attentively, sir ! examine his mouth ! examine his eyes ! examine his 
legs ! examine his nose ! Well, what d'ye make of his age ? " 

" Seventy-two," replied the man coolly. 

" Old enough for anything I " retorted the auctioneer, amid the 
laughter of the company. " What will any gentleman say for this 
grand animal, with the high courage of a gentleman, and all the 
docility — this noble viewly beast, with the neck and chest described 
in the book of Job ? Look at his chest ! look at his loins I look at 
his bellows, hut mind his heels ! " added he, as the horse began 
plunging and kicking from the cold. 

" Ten guineas," now offered the man who had examined him. 

" Ten guineas ? " retorted the auctioneer, angrily, " ten guineas 1 
you must be joking ; ten guineas for a proud animal like this ! You 
astonish him ! you insult him ! you degrade him I Ten guineas for 
such a horse as this ! It's a downright insult to the whole animal 
creation. And ten guineas are only bid," continued the auctioneer, 
adopting the offer, and proceeding to force, and screw, and coax, and 
exhort, and dwell, in a way that would take Tattersall at least a 
week to get through an ordinary Monday's sale. At length the 
hammer fell on both the proud animals, and on Flaps, the saddler of 
Loopline, declaring his principal, Mr. Jorrocks was found to be the 
purchaser of both Talavera at twenty-eight, and Oorunna at thirty 
pounds. Mr. Jorrocks then adjourned to inaugurate his purchase 
with brandy and water, and let Castors know what a great man he 
really was. And Castors was much chagrined to find that Flaps was 
not bidding for Martin Greenwood, of the Triumphant Chariot Livery 
Stables, where he had occasional dealings, for, by very little manage- 
ment, he could have made the Cut-em-down Captain's bill cover a 
good deal more purchase -money. Mr. Jorrocks, however, mollified 
him with the old specific, and also succeeded in selling him a couple 
of chests of tea, Lapsang Souchong and strong Congou — which he 
managed to deduct from the price of the horses. And Handley 
Cross being reduced to a state of perfect torpor by the frost, the news 
that old Jackey, as they profanely called Mr. Jorrocks, had bought 
some new nags, was a great accommodation, and drew divers parties 
to the station to criticise them as they came. Among others was our 
old friend Mr. Barnington, who, being struck with the looks and 
action of bitter-beer-coloured Corunna asked our master if he would 
sell him ? 

" Oh I why, faith, Barney," replied Mr. Jorrocks, raising his eye- 
brows, puffing out his cheeks, dangling his seals, and looking the 



OR, MR. JORROCKS'S HUNT. 365 

very essence of good-natured innocent simplicity ; " oh ! why, faith, 
Barney, I've never thought o' no thin' o' the sort, but you're a good 
sort o' feller, and subscribes liberal to my 'ounds : I doesn't care 
'bout the lucre o' gain, nobody cares less 'bout money nor I do, and 
you may take him for sixty — take him for sixty, and no more 'bout 
it*" So saying, Mr. Jorrocks passed his purchase to his friend, who 
felt flattered by the favour, and complimented Pigg with a sovereign. 

Pigg too was pleased with the horse that went into his stud, so 
that altogether our master did pretty well — cleared his railway ex- 
penses, as he said. The thing now was, to get a little work out of 
his establishment, for he was no man for keeping things to look at. 

The storm weighed heavily on Mr. Jorrocks's spirits, and James 

Pigg d d the south country, and swore " they never had seek 

weather i' the north." Often did our worthy, warming himself at 
Batsay's pittance of a kitchen fire, wish himself at Deavilboger's 
never-failing grate. 



"Ar think we're gannin' to have fresh," observed Pigg to his 
master one day, as the latter was paying his usual lengthy visit to 
the stable. 

" Have what ? " inquired Mr. Jorrocks. 

"Fresh" repeated Pigg, with an emphasis ; "ye ken what fresh 
weather is, dinnat ye ? " 

" Vy, no," replied our master thoughtfully ; " you don't mean a 
thaw ? " 

" Yeas, a thow," replied Pigg. 

" I vish we may ! " exclaimed Mr. Jorrocks, brightening up ; 
" somehow the day feels softer ; but the hair generally is after a fall. 
Howsomever, nous werrons, as we say in France : it'll be a long time 
afore we can 'unt, though — 'edges will be full o' snow." 

" Ay, dike backs," replied Pigg, " lies lang i' them ; but one can 
always loup in, or loup o'er." 

" Ah, that's all werry good talkin'," observed Mr. Jorrocks, shaking 
his head, and jingling the silver in his breeches-pocket ; " that's 
jverry good talkin'," repeated he, " but there are sich things as 'osses' 
necks to be considered." 

" A 1 but if ar'll risk mar neck, ye surely may risk yeer 'osse's," 
observed Pigg. 

"Don't know," replied Mr. Jorrocks, smiling at his huntsman's 
keenness. " Fear we shalln't have a chance in a hurry : have you 
seen Junks ? " 

" No, ar's not ; the missis was on the house-end as I came to 
stable, but Gabriel weren't there." 

" Ah, the missis is nothing" replied Mr. Jorrocks, " had Gabriel 
been there it would have been summut like ; good bird Mrs. Junks, 
but hasn't Gabey's delicate perception 'bout the weather — follows — 



366 BANDLEY CM088; 

never takes a lead. A scream from Gabey would give one 'opes of 
getting the Jenny Linds to work again." So saying, our master 
drew on his American over-shoes, and returned to the consolations of 
the cupboard. 

Despite Mr. Jorrocks' opinion of her, Mrs. Junks was a true 
prophet. The next day, Gabriel himself descended from the stable 
top into the garden with a loud and piercing scream. His crest was 
erect, his neck feathers slightly ruffled, and as he lifted one foot and 
then the other out of the snow, there was an air of comfort in his 
walk that told of other feelings than that of frost. Mr. Jorrocks went 
out at the back-door in his slippers, and poking his finger into the 
snow, proclaimed it was a thaw — a large drop splashing on his wig 
confirmed the judgment — spouts began to trickle, then to run, sewers 
to overflow, streets stood in snow-broth, and the prospect of a return 
to verdure and animation was the only consolation for wet-footed 
walkers. It was a decided thaw. There was a gentle wind, and the 
rain fell soft and warm — laurels expanded to the more genial atmo- 
sphere, the leafless trees seemed to increase in size, and the lately 
distinct distant objects resumed their gray dimness in the landscape. 

Mr. Jorrocks soon began to wax uncommon]y eager, and he, who 
had reproved Pigg's ardour, now in turn proposed a day — a quiet 
bye, just by their two selves to see "'ow the country looked and 
when they could begin to advertise." And as luck would have it, 
they fell in with a high-conditioned old flyer, who led Pigg such a 
dance as never was seen, and left Mr. Jorrocks stuck in a snow 
wreath in Eastfield Lane, out of which he had to be dug at an expense 
of seven shillings, the tinkers who found him refusing to put in a 
spade until he said what he'd give. That cooled our master's courage 
for a week, at the end of which time, things got into working order, 
and the establishment soon assumed such a form as tempted Mr. 
Jorrocks into the indiscretion disclosed in the following chapter. 



CHAPTEK XLIL 

POMPONIUS EGO. 



The great Mr. Ego having exalted the horns of the principal 
hunts in the kingdom, was now spending his time pleasantly between 
London and Paris — living at Calais — from whence he emerged at 
short notice to attend buttering matches in England ; and the 
glowing account he gave of some great man's establishment, caused 
Mr. Jorrocks to pant for that enduring fame which statuary and 
stationery best can give. Accordingly he made the overture con- 
tained in the following letter : — 



OR, MR. JORROCKS'S HUNT. 3«7 

"Dear Mr. Hego, 

" If your intercourse with .Dukes and other great guns o J the 
world, leaves any margin for the doings of the pop-guns o' the chase, 1 
shall be iverry 'appy if you will come here and take a look at our most 
provincial pack. In course I needn't tell you that my 'ouse is not large 
enough to require a kiver 'ack to canter from the dinirf to the drawirf- 
room, neither is the pack on a par ivith many you have seen ; out I can 
give you a good blow-out, both in the icay of wittlcs and drink, and 
shall be 'appy to 'put you up »,' as they say in the cut-me-downs, on as 
good a quad as I can, and show you sich sport as the country will afford. 
Fnlre nous , as we say in France, I ivant to be famous, and you know 
how to do it. In course mum's the word. 

" Yours to serve, 

" John Jorrocks. 

" P.S. — Compts. to Julius Seizeher and all the ancient Romans wlien 
you write. 

" Diana Lodge, Handley Cross Spa. 
" To Pomponius Ego, Esq., Calais." 

The following is Mr. Ego's answer :— 

"Dear Mr. Jorrocks, 

" You remind me of Catullus ! None but the old Latian could 
have put the point as you do. D — m all dukes ! Pm for mercantile 
life — £. s. d. — / shall have great satisfaction in inspecting your pack, 
on Thursday next, which I have no doubt I shall find all I can desire. 
Pick me out an easy-going, sure-footed, safe-leaping horse, with a light 
mouth, and let him have a Whippy-saddle on — / can't ride in any 
other. I like a bed-room with a southern aspect, — the feathers above the 
mattress, if you please ; ivax-candles and Eau de Cologne, will pitch 
the tune for the rest. Compliments to Mrs. Jorrocks, from, dear Jorrocks, 

" Yours very truly, 

"Pomponius Ego. 

" P.S. — What would you like to be done in? The ' Q. R.,'* the 
' H. TV * Fraser; ' Blackwood; ' New Monthly; ' Encyclopedia; ' Life; 
• Field; ' Era; or what ? 
"To John Jorrocks, Esq., 

" Master of Fox- Hounds, 
" Diana Lodge, Handley Cross Spa." 

This point being arranged, great preparations were made for the 
important event. Hounds may go on for centuries without being 

* "Q. R." stands for "Quarterly Review ;" " H. T," for " Heavy Triumvirate," 
which carries the lead, known in the trade as the " Old and New Sporting 
Magazines," and the " Sporting Review * 



8C8 EARDLET CROSS; 

known beyond the limits of their country, but the one day that 
brings the Inspector-General lives for ever in the page of history. 
Where, then, is the master of hounds, where the huntsman, where 
the whip, where the member of a hunt, whose heart does not beat 
responsive with Mr. Jorrocks' on this trying occasion ? Who, in 
the familiar language of low life, does not wish him well out of it ? 



" New, James," said our master to his huntsman, as they stood iE 
the kennel-yard looking over the hounds, a few days before the 
appointed visit, "you must get all on the square ; the great Pom- 
ponius Hego is a comin', and we shall be all down in black and 
wite." 

" Whe's he ? " inquired Pigg, scratching his head. 

" Yot ! not know Pomponius Hego ! " exclaimed Mr Jorrocks, in 
astonishment ; " you surelie don't mean to say so." 

"Ar' dinna ken him, ar's sure," replied Pigg, with the greatest 
indifference. " Is he a skeulmaister ? " 

" A skeulmaister ! " repeated Mr. Jorrocks, with a sneer and an 
indignant curl of his lip ; " a skeulmaister ! No ! — a master of 
'unting — not an M.F.H., like me, but a man wot makes hobserwa- 
tions on M.F.H.'s, their packs, their 'osses, their 'untsmen — their 
every thing, in fact." 

11 What's he de that for ? " inquired Pigg, with surprise. 

" Vy, that the world at large may know what he thinks on 'em, to 
be sure. He prints all he sees, hears, or thinks in a book." 

Pigg. — " Ye dinna say se ! " 

" Quite true, I assure you," replied Mr. Jorrocks ; " and if by any 
unlucky chance he blames an 'untsman, or condemns a pack, it's all 
dickey with them for ever ; for no livin' man dare contradict him, 
and every one swears by wot he says." 

" Woons man," reolied Pigg, in a pucker, "we maun be uncommon 
kittle then ar' guess.*' 

"You must exert your hutmost powers," replied Mr. Jorrocks, 
most emphatically ; " for dash my vig, if we fail, I, even I — John 
Jorrocks himself, will go perfectly mad with rage and wexation." 

" He'll ken all aboot the hunds and huntin' then, ar's warn'd," 
replied Pigg, catching the infection of fear. 

Mr. Jorrocks. — " Oh, yes ! — at least he writes about them ; and no 
one disputes print. Oh, dear ! oh, dear ! I almost fear I've made a 
mess o' myself, by axin' of him to come. I question if the world 
would not have been as 'appy without the mighty Hego. Hoil, 
butter, sugar, soap, all that sort o' thing is werry pleasant ; but then 
— oh, 'orror ! the idea of being rubbed the wrong way by Hego ! 
Death itself ivould be better ! " 

Pigg. — " Hout, tout ! — fear nout ! there's nout to boggle a man 1 
Gin I were ye, with all yeer brass, ar' wadn't care for neone." 



OE, MR. JOBKOCKS'S HUNT. 369 

Mr. Jorrocks. — " Ah ! but, Pigg ! — think of hambition ! — think of 
fame ! — think of that summut arter life wot prompts men to great 
hactions ! Here, for five-and-thirty years, have I been a hardeni 
follower of the chase — loved it, oh, 'eavens ! for its own sake, and 
not from any hanxious longins arter himmortality ! and now, when 
greatness has been thrust upon me — when I shines forth an M.F.H. 
— to think that all may be dashed from me, and 'stead of reignin' 
King of 'Andley Cross — 'stead of bein' the great and renowned John 
Jorrocks — I may be dashed t' oblivion ! Oh, Pigg ! — hambition is a 
frightful, a dreadful thing ! " 

Pigg. — " Hout, tout, fear nout. Does he ride, or nabbut looks at 
pack at cover-soide loike ? " 

Mr. JorrocTcs. — " Both, both — fust, he'll come and look us all over, 
ax the name of this 'ound and that — call 'em level — enquire W each 
is bred — talk of Hosbaldeston's Furrier, Lord Enry's Contest, or 
Sutton's Trueman — look at this nag — then at that — ax their pedi- 
grees — their hages — their prices — their everythings — vether we sum- 
mers them in the 'ouse or in the field — do a little about 'ard meat — 
'ow much corn they get — if we bruise it — vether we split our beans, 
or give them whole — then when we throws off he marks each motion 
— sees whether we put in at the right end of the cover or the wrong 
— observes whether the men have 'ands equal to their nerves, or 
nerves equal to their 'ands ; books their seats and their names — not 
their seats by the coach, mind — but their seats in the saddle. To 
read his accounts of the runs you'd fancy he was every where at once, 
both before, behind, and above — with the fox — with the 'ounds — 
with the first, and with the last man in the field — so knowin'ly doea 
he describe every twist, every turn, every bend of the run. Oh Pigg \ 
my excellent, my beautiful Pigg ! now that the fatal day 'proaches, 
and I sees the full brightness o' my indiscretion starin' me i' the 
face, I begins to repent havin' axed him to come. Wot can fame do 
for Jorrocks ? I have as much tin as I wants, and needn't care a 
copper for no man, "Would that I was well out o' the mess ! " 

" Never fear," replied Pigg, " here be good like h'unds, and yeer 
busses can gan ; if we de but find, the deuce is in it if we don't cook 
him up a run." 

" Oh, Pigg ! my buck of a Pigg ! " exclaimed Mr. Jorrocks, 
" those ifs are the deuce and all in 'unting — There's nothin' so dif- 
ficult to ride as an ' if '. If we find a fox, then there's the difficulty 
of gettin' well away with him ; or if we do get well away, then there's 
the chance of his bein' 'eaded back, or of there bein' no scent, or of 
his takin' a bad line, or of his bein' chased by a cur, or of his gainin' 
an earth we don't know of, or of a great banging 'are misleadin' the 
"ounds, or of the fox beatin' us disgracefully at the far end — these 
things are dreadful to the anxious mind of a M.F.H. at all times, 
but 'orrible, most 'orribh, at a time like the prisent.'' 

"Dinna fear," replied Pigg, " dinna fear — you'll see he'll be aowl 

E E 



870 HANDLBY CROSS; 

but mortal man after all. If you want to kill a fox, gan to big wood, 
and have somebody there with black bitch." 

"Black bitch," said Mr. Jorrocks, thoughtfully, "black bitch — 
Wot should we want with black bitch when we have all the 'ounds 
out?" 

" Hout, thou f ondy ! " said Pigg, " doesn't thoa ken what black 
bitch is ? " 

" No I doesn't — unless it's a dog's wife." 

" Dog's wife ! " roared Pigg ; " Ne sike thing. It's a gun, man ! 
Just pop a few shot corns into fox's hint-legs, and h'unds 'ill soon 
catch him." 

" My vig I " exclaimed Mr. Jorrocks, with an air of sudden en- 
lightenment, "I've often seen chaps in welweteen with guns at cover 
sides, but never knew what they were there for. Ah, but," added he, 
with a shake of his head, " Hego will be up to the black-bitch rig — 
No, no, that won't do — no use trying to 'oax him — it must be 
summut genuine. Oh, Pigg, if you could but manage to give him a 
real tickler, so that he might have summut good to put in his book, 
the gratitude of John Jorrocks should rest with you for ever and ever 
— you should drink brandy out of a quart pot for breakfast, dinner 
and supper." 

" You dinna say se ! " exclaimed Pigg, with delight. " Let's see 
— dang'd if ar ken — yes, ar de tee — run a drag and sheck a bag fox 
at far end loike." 

Mr. Jorrocks.—" That von't do — no not it. He'll be sure to find 
out, and trounce us to all eternity ; besides, if any of the Bell's Lifers 
were to catch us, they'd never let us 'ear the end on't. 

" Not they," replied Pigg : " Nebody 'ill find out if ye de but had 
your gob — start i' big wood — run drag round — bother him well — 
then out o'ur big loup — give him summut to glower at, instead o' 
h'unds." 

"No, Pigg, no," replied Mr. Jorrocks, shaking his head and jingling 
a handful of silver in his pantaloon pocket ; " it must be summut 
more genuine — Tally ho ! yondor he goes ! then elbows and legs — 
elbows and legs ; " Mr. Jorrocks suiting the action to the word, by 
straddling and working an imaginary horse with his arms. 

" Give him that tee," replied Pigg ; " stick chap up a tree to 
holloa away — another on a hill to had up hat, and so on." 

" Ah, but so many cuks will spoil the broth, Pigg ; so many cuks 
will spoil the broth. S'pose, for a moment, one should peach ! 
S'pose Hego should find us out ! I should sit on pins — on wool- 
combers — with nothin' but summer drawers on, till the account 
appeared, and then I question I should have courage to cut the pages. 
Oh, hambition ! hambition ! wot a troublesome warmint you are ! 
Wish I'd let the great man alone." 

Pigg. — "A, man alive niver fear ; he cannot de thee ne harm. Lei 
xae manish him, — ar'll give him summut to bragg on." 



OR, MR. JORROCKS'S HUNT. 371 

Mr. JorrocJcs. — " I vish I dirsfc — you Scotchmen are cliver fellers ; 
but s'pose he should smell a rat, 'ow he would trounce us, as much to 
show his own 'cuteness, as to punish us for our imperance ! " 

" Ye've noufc to fear, ar tell ye," replied Pigg confidently ; "ye'va 
nout to fear ; just leave it arl to me, and had your jaw about it, and 
dinna call me a Scotchman, and keep thy bit bowdekite quiet — ar'll 
manish matters." 

With much fear, and many misgivings for his rashness in asking 
Ego to come, Mr. Jorrocks at length consented to intrust the manage- 
ment of the day's sport to his northern huntsman and the feeder. 

By these it was arranged to run a drag of aniseed and red-herring 
over some of the best of their country, and to turn down a fox at the 
far end, in some convenient unsuspicious-looking place. The even- 
ing before Mr. Ego was to arrive, James Pigg communicated the 
find, the run, and the finish, to Mr. Jorrocks, with such other infor 
mation as would enable our master to ride to points without exciting 
suspicion, and Mr. Jorrocks undertook to say as much to Benjamin 
as would put the boy on his mettle, without letting him too much 
into the secret. 

Accordingly, when Stobbs left the dining-room to play his usual 
game of beggar-my-neighbour with Belinda, Mr. Jorrocks rang the 
bell, and desired Betsy to send in the boy. The latter entered in his 
usual sneaking way, knowing that he had been guilty of several 
" piccadillies," as his master would call them, for which he deserved 
to be well bastinadoed. 

" Now, Binjimin," said Mr. Jorrocks, eyeing his whipper-in with 
one of his most scrutinising looks ; " now, Binjimin," repeated he, 
with great dignity, "you are on the eve of a most mo-men-tous crisis ! " 

" Yez-ir," replied Benjamin, wondering what sort of a shaped thing 
it was. 

"That renowned man, Mr. Pomponious Hego, 'unts to-morrow with 
our unrivalled 'ounds, and I would fain give him a stinger." 

" Yez-ir," replied Benjamin. 

"Now then, you see, Binjimin, James Pigg is a mighty 'unter — 
keen and game to the backbone, and thinks he can 'stonish him. 
Now, Binjimin, you must lend us a hand." 

" Yez-ir," replied Benjamin. 

" You are werry fond o' marmeylad," observed Mr. Jorrocks, after a 
short pause, during which he considered how he had best put the point. 

" Uncommon ! " exclaimed Ben, with a grin of delight. 

"Well then, now you see, Binjimin, if you hact well your part, 
obey James Pigg, and do all wot he tells you — if all goes on smoothly 
and well on your part — wen you comes 'ome, I'll give you a pot o' 
marmeylad as big as your 'ead ! " 

" Crikey, oh ! " exclaimed Benjamin, in ecstasies. 

" But, 'ark to me again, Binjimin," continued Mr. Jorrocks, hold- 
ing up his finger, and knitting his brow at the boy ; " Ark to me 

E E2 



372 



HANBLEY CROSS 



again, Binjimin, if by any chance you bitch the thing, if all does not 
go on smoothly and well on your part, so far from givin' of you any 
marmeylad, I'll take you to one of the new-fangled matrimony-shops, 
and tie you hup with a stout gipsey wench, with sich a small hinde- 
pendence of her own as 'ill find you in tons of misfortin' and black 
language, fresh from the pit's mouth, and make you miserable from 
now till the first Monday after eternity." 

" Oh-o-o ! groaned Benjamin, inwardly, at the thought. 

" So now make yourself scarce, and mind wot you're at," said 
Mr. Jorrocks, dismissing him. Our master then adjourned to the 
parlour, and endeavoured to compose himself for bed with a couple 
of very stiff glasses of B. and W., and got through the night better 
than might have been expected. 



CHAPTER XLIII. 



THE POMPONIUS EGO DAY. 

A THICK white rind 
powdered the face of nature, 
and Mr. Jorrocks found him- 
self with a beautiful silver- 
foliaged window in the 
morning. Still the ever- 
greens in the garden ex- 
hibited no symptoms of a 
nipping, and as the night- 
clouds cleared off and the 
sun stood forth all lurid in 
the firmament, he congratu- 
lated himself on the appear- 
ance of opening day. Mrs. 
Jorrocks, Belinda, Stobbs, 
Betsy, and Benjamin, were 
up with the lark, all busy 
preparing for the great, well- 
known unknown. A fly was 
despatched to the Datton 
station of the Lily-white- 
sand railway to meet him, 
and punctual to his time, 
Ego turned out at Diana 
Lodge, enveloped in shawls, 
numerous great coats, and a pair of French- jointed clogs to keep his 
feet warm. 1 Mutual salutations being over, and having got rid of his 




PICO HOLDING THE FOX ABOVE HIS HEAD. 



OR, MR. JORROCKS S HUXT. 373 

husks, breakfast was attacked with a true railway appetite — kidneys, 
chops, eggs, muffins, crumpets, toast, red herrings, all the delicaeie. 
of the season in short, that make one's mouth water to write, vanished 
in succession, aided by large draughts of undeniable tea and coffee 
from " the Lane," as Mr. Jorrocks calls his place of business. At 
length they completely topped up, and after begging some brandy to 
put in his flask, Ego rose from his seat and began pacing about the 
room and looking out of the window, as men are in the habit of doing 
who want to be commencing a " New Series " of the periodical occu- 
pations of life. Stobbs had a bad headache — or pretended to have 
one, not wanting to be butter'd. 

Ten o'clock came, and as it struck, James Pigg and Benjamik 
appeared outside the white rails before Diana Lodge, clad in their 
best habiliments, mounted, and each leading a horse. Uncommonly 
spicy they all looked, for Pigg, regardless of expense, had generously 
divided a penny's-worth of ginger among the four, so that their tails 
stuck up like hat pegs, and, as if in sympathy with the horses, Gabriel 
Junks flew on to the summit of the gateway arch, and expanded a 
glorious tail to the rays of the sun, at the same time setting up a 
scream that startled the horses. Forth sallied Ego and Jorrocks ; u^ 
went the bed-room window for Betsy to look out, Mrs. Jorrocks ap- 
peared framed in the lower one, with a face of most rubicund hue, 
while Belinda peeped past the green and white chintz curtain, and 
had her glimpse of the scene. 

" There ! said Mr. Jorrocks, pulling up short at the gate, seizing 
Ego by the arm as he pointed to his stud ; " there ! there are a lot 
of nags for you — none of your cat-legged, tumble-down, kick-me-off, 
brik-my-neck, split-my-skull beggars ; but real seasoned 'unters, sure 
and steady, with an eye for each foot, and one over. Binjimin," sat \ 
he, turning to the boy, " take up those stirrups three 'oles, and don't 
let me catch you ridin' like a dragon. Now, Mr. Hego, be arter 
mountin' — time's precious, and punctuality is the purliteness of 
princes. There," said he, as Ego got himself into his saddle on 
Talavera, "you are mounted — delightful ! make a pictor for Leech ! 
Gave a mint o' money for that 'oss, but I doesn't care a dump 'bout 
money, further nor as it enables one to pursue the plisurs o' the 
chase. — Pigg, put Arterxerxes next the rails, so that I may get on 
easy. Whoay, 'oss ! Whoay ! " roared Jorrccks, as the horse began 
fidgeting and hoisting, on feeling his foot in the stirrup. " Whoay ! 
I say, you hugly brute I " adding, " rot ye, but I'll take the gay in- 
solence out o' your tail afore night." A bold effort lodged him in 
the first floor of the saddle, and, gathering up his reins, Jorrocks 
turned Arterxerxes' head from the house, the horse walking with his 
fore legs, and kicking with his hind ones, an example immediately 
followed by the other three. Away they all go, kicking and snorting, 
amid the renewed screams of the peacock and the shouts of the little 
boy 8 who had congregated about,. 



374 HANDLE* CROSS; 

" And one and all aloud declare 
'Twas a fit sight for country fair, 
Far better than a dancing bear." 

The kennel reached, the pack were soon round Pigg's horse's heels, 
and after a few consequential cracks of his whip, and cries of " Go 
on, hounds ! go on ! to him ! to him ! " from Benjamin, as they pro- 
ceeded through the streets, which, as usual, were all commotion to 
see them pass, they cleared the town and entered upon the hedge- 
rows of the country. 

Jorrocks now began to feel the full force of his situation, and in- 
wardly wished himself well out of it. 

" A niceish lot of hounds," observed Ego, casually, as he brought 
his horse alongside James Pigg, " to look him over," as he calls it ; 
and Pigg, who was rather sprung, instead of capping him, gave him 
a most unceremonious stare. 

" A dom'd nice pack ! ar should say," replied Pigg. 

" Humph ! " said Ego to himself, " a rummish genius this, I 
guess — I am Pom-po-nius Ego," observed he, with an air of 
annihilation. 

"Sae they say," replied Pigg, turning his quid. " What's your 
cracks ? " 

" What's your whats ? " repeated Ego to himself, without being 
able to hit off the scent. " Who told you I was Ego ? " inquired he, 
after a pause, during which he kept scrutinising Pigg. 

Pigg. — " Whe tell't me ? Why, Jorrocks, to be sure I Whe else 
should ? " 

" Whe else should ? " repeated Ego, in disgust, " you're a pretty 
fellow for a huntsman." 

" Ye'll be wantin' a ticket, ar's warn'd," observed Pigg, palling 
one of his 5s. pink pasteboards out of his waistcoat pocket and tender- 
ing it to him. 

Ego looked unutterable things. 

"Well, my frind, and vot do you think of the 'ounds ? " inquired 
Mr. Jorrocks, who had had a suck at his monkey, riding up at this 
critical period. " Some of the real sort for makin' them cry ' Capivi ' 
* — all workmen — no skirtin', babblin' overrunnin' beggars kept for 
ihow merely because they are 'andsome — 'andsome is wot 'andsome 
does, is my happhorism ? " 

" A very good motto, Mr. Jorrocks," observed Ego ; " a very good 
motto. We shall see presently what they are made of. They 
seem a goodish sort of hound — level — if anything, rather full of 
flesh." 

" A werry good fault, too, at this time o' year ; we shall soon work 
them fine enough," replied Mr. Jorrocks. 

" As fine as Sam Nichol had his, eh ? — that poor John Warde used 
to say a man had only to take his shaving-pot into the kennel, lather 



OR, MR. JORROCKS'S HUNT. 376 

his face, and scrape his face with the back of a hound — he, he, he ! 
good joke that, Mr. Jorrocks, eh ? " 

" Haw ! haw ! haw ! werry good joke, Mr. Hego, werry good joke, 
indeed — have laughed at it werry often — werry old friend o' yours 
and mine, that joke. S'pose it will be due again soon ? Shall be 
ready to laugh at it again when it appears." 

" Mixed pack, I see," now observed Ego, who had been scrutinizing 
the hounds as they trotted quietly along. 

" Mixed pack," repeated Jorrocks, gaily, adding : " dogs I thinks 
correct the wolatile natur' o' the betches. I 'old wi' Mr. Craven 
Smith," continued he, " that though the betches are quicker nor the 
dogs, they do not always show the same sport, or kill the most foxes 
— another thing is, I likes plenty o' music, and the betches are not 
so free wi' their tongues as the dogs, and sometimes slip away without 
one's knowing it, which is inconwenient, as it doesn't look well for a 
gen'l'man, 'specially for an M.F.H., to go gallopin' 'bout the country, 
exclaimin', * 'Ave you seen my 'ounds ? 'ave you seen my 'ounds ? ' " 

" That will not often happen with you, Mr. Jorrocks, I should 
think," observed Ego, smiling at our friend's substantial form. 

" Not often," replied our master, with a chuck of the chin ; " not 
often — still it might, and one doesn't like bein' left i' the lurch." 

" Certainly not," assented Ego ; " certainly not — nothing like 
being on good terms with your hounds and your banker." 

" Nothin'," replied Jorrocks, " 'specially wi' sich beauties as 
mine," looking lovingly down upon the pack. 

" Some fairish looking animals among them," observed Ego, with 
up-turned lip. 

" Fairish lookin' hanimals 'mong 'em," retorted Jorrocks ; " fairish 
lookin' hanimals 'mong 'em ; I tells ye wot," continued he, drawing 
breath ; " if they're not 'zactly the 'andsomest pack o' 'ounds i' the 
kingdom, they're the steadiest — the wisest — and the best ! " 

" In-deed ! " bowed Ego, with a supercilious smile. 

" True guiders of a scent in 'ard runnin', close, patient 'unters 
with a cold scent, and as stout as steel." 

" In-deed / " bowed Ego again. 

" I'm not a conceited hass," observed Jorrocks, boiling up, " wot 
thinks every thing I 'ave is the best ; and if I 'ears of good blood 
anywhere, I'll 'ave it — as I said afoor, I doesn't care twopence 'bout 
tin, further nor as it enables me to pursue the plisures o' the 
chase." 

" That's your ticket ! " exclaimed Ego. 

"Sink ye, ye wadn't ha' it just now," observed Pigg over his 
shoulder, thinking the great man had changed his mind, and wanted 
his insurance ticket against hunting accidents. 

"To hobtain a good run," continued Mr. Jorrocks, vehemently, 
without noticing either of these interruptions, " to hobtain a good run, 
your 'ounds should not only 'ave good abilities, but they should b<? 



S76 HANDLEY 0R0S8 ; 

hexperienced and well 'quainted with each other. To guide a scent 
well over a country for a length o' time, through all the hintricaciea 
and difficulties o' the chase, requires first chop abilities," added he, 
with a hearty slap of his thigh. 

" So it does," assented Ego. 

" Keep the tambourine a-roulin' ! " exclaimed Pigg, who had been 
reining in his horse to hear his master bounce. 

" Yooi doit ! there "Warrior ! " added he, with a crack of his whip 
to a hound that was leading others out of ear-shot. 

" There's a fine 'ound," observed Mr. Jorrocks, again arresting the 
great man's attention, by pointing out old Ravager, now trotting 
singly along the footpath. 

" You'll most likely be wishin' to say summut soapey and plisant 
'bout the pack, and you can't lay it too thick on to him — Ravager, 
by Lord Yarborough's Rallywood out of his Ringlet. Would gladly 
give fifty guineas a couple for a few more sich. That's a nice dog 
too, Fugleman," pointing a speckled black and white one out. 
" Fugleman,* by the Beaufort Potentate out of Foljambe's Frantic ; 
8o's that," pointing to a mealy coloured hound ; " Dorimont, by 
Drake's Duster out of the Belvoir Blameless. Dorimont ! old 
bouy ! " continued Mr. Jorrocks, rising in his stirrups, and chucking 
him a bit of biscuit for answering to his name. " Dorimont, old 
bouy ! mind the heyes of Hengland are 'pon you ! In fact," con- 
tinued Mr. Jorrocks, sousing himself into his great saddle, and 
dropping his voice as he took Ego confidentially by the elbow, " in 
fact, you can't say too much in praise o' the pack — Quads neither. 
I'm not a wain man," continued Mr. Jorrocks, " far from it — but 
merit should be noticed, and it's not never of no manner of use 
keeping one's candle under a bushel. Is it ? " asked he, anxiously. 

" Not a bit ! " replied Ego, with another slight upward curl of his 
lip. 

Our friends then bumped on for some time in silence, Jorrocks 
wondering what Ego thought of him, and Ego wondering if Jorrock? 
was really the liberal indifferent man about money he represented 
himself to be. Jorrocks was half inclined to ask Ego how he prov 
posed buttering him, lest there might be any mistake, but just as he 
was going to pop the tender question, Arterxerxes gave such a 
terrible stumble, as nearly sent him out of his saddle. He then took 
to jagging and objurgating the horse, which put it out of his head, 
and by the time he got himself and his horse appeased, he was 
thinking of his dinner. 

As they proceeded, the spangled hedges dropped their jewels — the 
fields gradually resumed their pristine hue — and on reaching Bump- 
mead Heath, all nature smiled with the sweetness of premature spring. 
What a concourse was there ! Flys, carriages, gigs, hunters, hacks 
donkeys, all to see an author on horseback ! 

* All gammon I They were som« "f Bugginson's lot, 



OR, MR. JORROGKS'S HUNT. 377 

" There ! " said Mr. Jorrocks, pointing to the field as they turned 
from the road and entered the wide expanding common, "wot an 
'unt mine is ! Shall present them to you in reg'lar rotation — largest 
subscribers fust, and so on, down to the three-guinea coves. This 
little podgy cock on the cob is Latitat the lawyer. Bern' a werry 
thick-winded little sinner, they call him Whezey, junior. Yon bouy 
on the brown, that is fidgetin' about as though he didn't like his 
load, is Squire Barnington, the man wot wanted to be master ; he 
gives fifty. My missis and his don't 'it it, but we are werry good 
friends. He buys 'osses like a brick, without bringin' all the 
relations and frinds of this world to 'sist 'im. Barnington ! " 
holload Jorrocks to him, "come and be presented to the mighty 
Hego. This be him, with the bird's-eye fogle round his squeeze — 
coolish mornin' you see, and Hegotists* are scarce — keeps his throat 
warm." Mr. Barnington and Ego made mutual salutations with 
their hats. " Hooi, Fleecy ! " roared Jorrocks to his secretary, who 
was poking about among the group on a long- tailed rat of a pony, 
with a slip of paper in his hand and a pencil between his teeth, 
" come and pay your devours to Hego, the man wot makes us all 
famous. " This be my sec," observed Mr. Jorrocks to Ego, adding 
in a lower tone, " Does a little word-combin' himself at times — signs 
himself Junius Secundus — you twig ! " 

" Proud to make the personal acquaintance of Junius Secundus," 
observed Ego; bowing and laying his hand upon his breast. 
"Often heard of him." Fleeceall brings his hat in contact with 
his heel. 

" This be old Barleycorn," observed Mr. Jorrocks, stopping a 
jolly-looking farmer, in dark clothes, on a good-looking brown 
horse ; " a werry good friend to 'unting — always goes fust over his 
own wheat." 

Pomponius Ego vouchsafed him a bow. 

" Here comes a cove now," observed Jorrocks, laying hold of Ego's 
arm. " Jest look at this chap i' the cap and cut-away coat, with the 
bridle all over buckles. ' Dis arter six,' I calls him. His mother 
gets her tea o' me, and when this young blade came to settle the bill, 
he wanted dis arter six. Dis arter six ! " exclaimed Mr. Jorrocks 
vith an emphasis. " As if anybody ever 'eard o' dis arter six I 
The dirty-looking dog in the plum-coloured coat and dingy Napo- 
leons wot's jest joined 'im, we call ' Two upon Ten ' — they 'unt in 
couples, Dis arter six and Two upon ten, They took poor Two for a 
thief, and wen he went into the shops, they used to sing out ' Two 
upon ten ! kvo upon ten I ' meanin', two eyes on ten fingers — haw, 
haw ! haw 1 " chuckled our master, adding, " I won't interduce 
neither o' them. But 'ere comes a good chap," continued he, 
" Ridge the slater, gives ten pund, and pays it too. Slates, old 

* Nothing of the sort ; we wish they were. — Authok. 



378 HAND LEY CROSS; 

bouy ! " continued Jorrocks, beckoning him, come this way, and let 
me be the makin' on you. Let me interduce you to the great Mr. 
Hego, King o' the Chase, I may call 'im." Ridge made as bountiful 
a bow as though he expected an order to roof in a palace. 

" 'Ere's another good chap," continued Mr. Jorrocks, " Pigott the 
master plasterer — M.P., as he calls himself. 'Ere, Piggy," continued 
Jorrocks, hailing him, " let me do the splendacious by you. Mr. 
Hego, let me interduce a reg'ler brick — fire-brick, in fact — g^ves 
sivin puud to the 'ounds, and pays it too." 

" Most praiseworthy character," observed Ego with a salaam. 

" And 'ere's another good cove," continued Jorrocks, " Sugar, the 
the grocer. He's a payin' subscriber too, gives ten pund." 

11 Five" observed Sugar, whose real name was Smith, with a smile. 

" Five, is it ? " growled Mr. Jorrocks, adding aloud to himself, 
" shalln't inderduce you, then. Yon chap trottin' along as if his 
wite choker wouldn't let him look either to the right or the left, is 
the Reverend Titus Cramcub, a learned man like yourself — reads 
Lord Bacon°s works, and eats fat bacon for breakfast. He teaches 
the young idea 'ow to shoot, but prefers 'unting himself, and as soon 
as 'ounds 'are shaken off the crowd, and settled to a run, he drops 
into the front rank, and goes as if he couldn't 'elp himself. This is 
not a bad chap," continued Mr. Jorrocks, nodding towards a square- 
built man in white moleskin breeches, an olive-coloured coat, and 
boots to match, who now turned a well-shaped gray upon the heath. 
" This is not a bad chap, Haimes the saddler, and I'll tell ye a story 
'bout him that may come into your palarvarment, if you like. His 
trade lies a good deal 'mong the saints, who wouldn't 'prove of his 
'unting, so he always christens his 'oss Business, and when any on 
'em call when he's out, his foreman says his master's away on 
1 business ' — haw, haw, haw ! he, he, he ! " — a chuckle in which the 
great journalist joined. " This is a shabby screw," said Mr. 
Jorrocks, pointing to a man in a rusty Bath-bricky scarlet, riding a 
badly-clipped ewe-necked dun. " He's 'unted all his life, they say, 
and never given a copper to 'ounds, always declarin' that each season 
was to be his last. And, by the way, reminds me," continued Mr. 
Jorrocks, turning short on his secretary, " 'ow do the chaps buck up 
now that they've got wot they want in the way of an 'untsman ? " 

"Why, only very middling, I'm sorry to say, Sir," replied Mr. 
Fleeceall. " Somehow or other, I never can find a man wi